Street with cars parked

Driving test modernised to reflect real-world driving

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Planned changes to the driving test are aimed at ensuring new drivers are better prepared to drive independently.

An open country road with breaking sunlightThe changes were announced last week by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which has launched a six-week consultation on the proposals.

According to the DVSA, the changes would: Increase the 'independent driving' part of the test from 10 to 20 minutes - this will allow more high-speed roads to be included in test routes. Ask candidates to follow directions from a sat-nav during the 'independent driving' part - the DVSA noted that 52% of car drivers now have a sat-nav, and said it wants new drivers to learn how to use them safely. Replace manoeuvres like reversing around a corner and turning in the road with more real-life scenarios, such as driving into and reversing out of a parking space. Ask one of the two vehicle safety questions while the candidate is driving.

DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn commented:
Great Britain's roads are among the safest in the world. But there's still more that we can do to keep road users safe -- particularly newly-qualified drivers.
"Making sure that the test better assesses a driver's ability to drive safely and independently is part of our strategy to help every driver through a lifetime of safe driving."

Lesley Young, chief driving examiner for the DVSA, added:

"Candidates will be given more responsibility for making decisions during the test. We want them to show they can cope with distractions and assess risk without the intervention of their instructor or examiner."

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