The DVSA have announced changes to the driving test that will help save lives and improve road safety, claims Transport Minister Andrew Jones.
A modern test will be introduced that includes new manoeuvres and a longer independent driving section to make sure drivers have the skills, knowledge and confidence to drive on their own.
Also introduced is a part of the test that will be dedicated to test the driver’s use of a sat nav.
The new driving test will come into force on 4 December 2017, with the four changes being:
An increase of the ‘independent driving’ part of the test from 10 to 20 minutes
Asking candidates to follow directions on a sat nav as an alternative to following the road signs
Replacing current manoeuvres such as ‘reverse around the corner’ with more real life scenarios, such as driving into and reversing out of a parking bay
Asking one of the two vehicle safety questions while the candidate is driving, for example, asking candidates to use the rear heated screen
DVSA received more than 3,900 responses to the public consultation on the changes to the test.
88% agreed with increasing the length of the independent driving part of the test, and 71% backed the idea of asking candidates to follow directions from a sat nav.
Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA Chief Executive, said: “Making sure the driving test better assesses a driver’s ability to drive safely and independently is part of our strategy to help you stay safe on Britain’s roads.
“It’s vital that the driving test keeps up to date with new vehicle technology and the areas where new drivers face the greatest risk once they’ve passed their test.”
Roughly half of all car drivers now have a sat nav, so the DVSA want new drivers to be trained on how to use them safely in order to reflect the changing behaviours of drivers.
Carly Brookfield, Chief Executive of the Driving Instructors Association (DIA), said: “DIA fully supports the developments to the practical driving test and welcome these changes.
"The evidence from the large scale trial (which took place to evaluate the potential impact of these changes) clearly demonstrates that, not only does the new style test offer a better opportunity to assess a candidate's ability to drive independently. Safely, it also made pupils more aware of the need to better prepare themselves for independent driving before they take the test."