Driving test remodel

Trials are currently taking place of changes to the driving test. The DVSA sets out the following summary of the changes:

The government wants new drivers to be prepared for driving on their own, and not just passing the driving test

The driving test needs to be reviewed so that the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can better assess whether new drivers can drive safely and competently on their own on our busy modern roads.

DVSA has spent time talking to driving instructor associations, academics and others with a road safety interest to see what can be done differently.

The content of the test is set in law, so there are limits to what can be changed. For example, the ‘show me, tell me’ questions must be done, but we can consider how they’re actually carried out.

There are several video examples in the DVSA policy paper.

This is a summary of the proposed changes:

Current test Trial test
‘Show me’ and ‘tell me’ question at the beginning of the test ‘Tell me’ question at the beginning of the test and a ‘show me’ question on the move
10 minutes independent driving using traffic signs or verbal directions 20 minutes independent driving using a satnav or traffic signs
One of the following manoeuvres – turn in the road, reverse around a corner or reverse parking (either into a parking bay, or parallel parking at the side of the road) One of the following manoeuvres – drive into and reverse out of a parking bay, pull up on the right, reverse, and rejoin the traffic or reverse parking (either into a parking bay, or parallel parking at the side of the road)

Trials are currently taking place in these test centres:

  • Basildon
  • Bedford
  • Birmingham Kings Heath
  • Bishopbriggs (Glasgow)
  • Blackpool
  • Bournemouth
  • Bristol (Southmead)
  • Cheetham Hill
  • Edinburgh (Musselburgh)
  • Enfield
  • Farnborough
  • Folkestone
  • Herne Bay
  • Ipswich
  • Lincoln
  • Lower Gornal
  • Mitcham (London)
  • Norwich
  • Oxford
  • Sheffield Handsworth
  • Southampton (Maybush)
  • St Helens
  • Sunderland
  • Swansea
  • Weston-super-mare
  • York

Is this just tinkering with the current model when wholesale changes need to be made? Would the DVSA’s energies be better spent by lobbying for (say) graduated licences? Make your view known on the DIDU forum.

Read the full DVSA policy paper

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