Independent Driving Over Manufactured Manoeuvres
As the practical driving test celebrates its 80th birthday, the DVSA wants to change the format of the current test to better assess learner drivers on their ability to drive independently on busy, modern roads; rather than focussing on ‘manufactured manoeuvres’ such as a driver’s ability to turn the car around in a back street.
As yet there’s no change announced for to those preparing for their HGV license, although no doubt examiners will be on the watch to see how successful the new driving test would be before deciding to roll it out to other classes.
So what’s different?
One of the changes include ‘show me’ and ‘tell me’ questions that will be asked while the vehicle is in use on the road to access the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle’s controls safely while driving.
The trials will also look at increasing the duration of independent driving from ten minutes to twenty minutes; with the added use of a satellite navigation system (operated by the test instructor) that will be used during the trial test.
There will also be a change made to some of the test’s classic manoeuvres. Instead of being asked to turn in the road, reverse around a corner or reverse park (either into a parking bay, or parallel parking at the side of the road) the DVSA is now asking for drivers to “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)”.
There is also some good news for those trialling the test. For the learner drivers that take part in the trial driving test, if they are successful they will obtain a full UK driving license as the test being used in the research is an actual driving licence acquisition test.
The changes are designed to help new drivers and make them better prepared for modern roads and modern driving conditions. As a further element to this, the DVSA will be introducing the use of satnav during the test and excluding manoeuvres that new drivers will rarely use like the ‘3 point turn in the road’. This will leave more time for learners to show their abilities of driving independently and confidently – skills that will be essential to them when they pass their test.
So are you in favour of ditching the dreaded ‘turn in the road’ for more independent driving during a test? Let us know in the comments!