Posted on 04/12/2017
On December 4th 2017 the government and DVSA introduced 4 new driving test changes that they believe will help make new drivers on the road safer. Whilst inconvenient for people who are weeks from taking their test before the December deadline, these changes are not only necessary but come with increasing public support. Before I highlight what these 4 new changes are I would like to address who will be affected by these changes:
“All car driving tests taken from 4 December 2017 will follow the new format. This includes if:
- you fail a test before then, and retake your test from 4 December 2017
- your test is cancelled or moved for any reason, and your new test date is from 4 December 2017″ – Source DVSA https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-test-changes-4-december-2017
So if you don’t fall into these 2 categories then everything will remain the same for you.
So what are the 4 changes?
1) You will learn to follow directions from a Sat Nav
During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav.
The examiner will provide the sat nav and set it up including the route you will take. You can’t follow directions from your own sat nav during the test – you have to use the one supplied by the examiner.
You can ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you’re not sure. Don’t worry if you go the wrong way, it only becomes a problem if you make a fault while doing it.
1 in 5 driving tests won’t use a sat nav. You’ll need to follow traffic signs instead.
2) Independent driving part of the test will increase to 20 minutes
The Independent Driving part of the test currently will now be doubled to around 20 minutes, approximately (roughly half of the test) as currently it lasts around 10 minutes. During this part of the test, you have to drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner.
3) Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re driving
During your driving test, the examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions – these are known as the ‘Show me, Tell me’ Questions.
You’ll be asked the following:
- ‘tell me’ question (this is where you explain to the examiner how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start any driving
- ‘show me’ question (this is where you show how the examiner how you would carry out a safety task) while you’re driving – for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers
4) Reversing manoeuvres will be changed
The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but you really should still be taught them by your instructor as these are manoeuvres you will have to make during the course of your driving life.
Instead of doing the ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres, you’ll be asked to do 1 of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres:
- parallel park at the side of the road
- park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do)
- pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic
Why are these changes been made?
The ultimate aim is to reduce the amount of collisions and deaths of young people on the roads. Road collisions are the biggest killer of young people with over 25% of all deaths of those aged between 15 and 19. The DVSA are hoping the measures they have implemented will help reduce the amount of young people been killed in traffic accidents.
According to the DVSA website, These changes are being made because:
- Motorways withstanding, most fatal collisions happen on high-speed roads – changing the format of the test will allow more of these types of roads to be included in driving test routes
- With 52% of car drivers now have a sat nav – DVSA wants new drivers to be trained to use them safely and efficiently
- Also research has shown that new drivers find independent driving training valuable – they can relate it to driving once they’ve passed their test
The Pass mark, length of test and cost of it will be not changing!
You be rest assured that apart from the 4 changes already mentioned, everything else will remain the same. You’ll still pass your test if you make no more than 15 driving faults and no serious or dangerous errors. The examiner will still mark the test in the same way, and the same things will still count as faults.
The overall time of the driving test won’t change, even with the independent section of the course doubling in length, it will still take around 40 minutes in total due to the removal of the 2 manoeuvres.
Technology is always changing and its important that driving standards are constantly adapted to match this and keep people safe on the roads. If learners can adopt these fundamental features during their test it will stand them in good stead for their life on the road, ensuring driving standards are better making it safe for them and fellow road users. You can read more in depth on these 4 driving test changes here.