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Driving test consultation: interview with Lesley Young

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Lesley Young sat in a chair facing cameraman during filming session

Lesley Young, Chief Driving Examiner at DVSA, answered your questions live on Periscope about improving the car driving test on Friday 12 August 2016.


Thank you for joining us for this live video interview with Lesley Young, Chief Driving Examiner. My name is Liz, and I’m your host for today.

And Lesley, thank you for your time. Would you like to say hello to the internet?

Thank you for everybody who’s joining us today.

This is the first time that we've tried a Periscope live video, so please do bear with us if you're tuning in.

Lesley, while people are still joining us, could you just take a minute to explain what the main proposals are, and why this is so important?

Ok, so there are pretty much 4 main proposals. One is to extend the independent driving and make use of satellite navigation. The other is to do some changes to the manoeuvres that we’re asking candidates to do. We’re also going to ask some questions about operation of controls on the move. And generally experience a more.. a drive that takes candidates into more challenging environments and more real-life driving, rather than focusing on backroads and side streets.

Ok, thanks. We’ll move on to the questions now from ADIs. If you're watching live via the Periscope app, you can also start to ask your questions.

Neil has asked, by changing the independent drive to following a sat nav, aren't you doing away with it all together? Is it just another voice giving the candidate direction, rather than making sure the learner driver is looking out for all road signs?

Ok, so first of all, we are using satellite navigation as an alternative to road signs, not instead of. So a certain number of candidates will still be asked to follow road signs, so that will mean that they need to receive training in both areas.

The issue about hearing directions from a sat nav, is a realistic environment, so the examiner will be watching the candidate as if they were driving completely on their own. I mean, to receive instructions on a junction-by-junction process like we currently do during the test is not very realistic at all.

Thank you. Jackie’s asked, does the proposed new sat nav part of the test have accommodation for hearing impaired people or those whose first language is not English.

Ok, so I think we obviously considered those candidates with special needs, and we did have representation from the British Deaf Association, and one of their people came to take the test as we proposed and found it a far better way to conduct... to experience the driving test than trying to deal with hand signs or try and hear anything the examiner might say to them. So they’re very used to a visual interpretation and clearly they would be doing that when they drive on their own, so they were entirely happy with those proposals.

In terms of language, as you know we don’t offer tests in any other language today, but I think it can only serve to assist those that it isn’t their first language, because again, they will have a visual representation of where they’re being asked to go.

Thanks. Steven asked, why do we seem to be promoting practices that go against advice in Highway Code rule 239 about parking against the flow of traffic?

This, to be fair, has had some controversy associated with it, but I think it’s important that it is a high-risk manoeuvre, and that candidates should appreciate that it is and know how to deal with it - and that includes whether it be daylight or evening.

It isn’t best practice, but none the less, it is a manoeuvre that is commonly required. You often see it where there are local shops on one side of the road and there’s no facility to park on the other. You also… from delivery drivers do it all the time - we’ve all seen our postman, our food delivery people - all that - have to… don’t have to, but indeed do do that manoeuvre and it’s far better that they’re trained deal with risks associated with it, than leave it to good fortune once they’ve gained their licence.

Ok. John’s asked, will the new test include turning the vehicle round in a confined space in the safest possible manner?

In essence, yes, because if you’re asked to drive forward into a parking space and reverse out, then indeed it necessitates the same skills it would to do a turn-in-the-road. Those that have experienced the new test under the trial we’ve been conducting have found it to a very useful manoeuvre, and one that they use commonly.

Just another one coming through here. Stephanie’s asked - or said - I am alarmed that useful reversing manoeuvres are to be dropped. We all need to be able to turn our car around. Reversing around a corner might seem over-formal, but we all use versions of it to turn our cars around or reverse into drives. What does Lesley have to say about it?

I think the previous question sort of address it, in the sense that if you are taught to reverse into a parking space and drive out of it, or drive forward in and reverse out, or parallel park, or any of those exercise, it does mean that you have to learn to control your car in a confined space, under control and with appropriate observation - so I see that all of those skills are transferrable, and that is in fact largely the feedback we’ve had from those instructors involved in the trial.

So, I think people need to realise the reason behind the change in manoeuvres, and it’s not just about manoeuvres - it’s about the fact that in focusing on reversing around a corner and a turn-in-the-road on the driving test, we have to spend a disproportionate amount of time in quiet sideroads, and that is not not where people have their crashes post-test. We want to extend the environment the candidates experience, and we can only do that by removing the need to spend too much time in quiet low-risk areas for the pure purpose of carrying out those manoeuvres.

Ok, thanks. miDrive has asked if you think the new test will have an impact on driving test waiting times?

Well that’s a bigger question really, I think it’s about preparedness. I mean, the new test is designed that it will be accommodated within the current test slots, so in other words, examiners will be doing the same number of the new test as they do the current test, should it be implemented. And so if that means that candidates are better prepared, and therefore more likely to pass, then hopefully that in turn will address some of the waiting time issues, which is borne out of the fact that people have come back more than once to take a driving test.

We’re just waiting for some more to come through. Ok, someone’s asking, which manoeuvres will be assessed in the new test?

We have 2 parking manoeuvres - that’s either driving forward into a space and reversing out, or reversing into a space and driving out. There’s also the parallel park on the side of the road, which is currently part of the current test. And the other manoeuvre is where we ask the candidate to judge when it’s safe to move across to the right-hand side of the road, stop, reverse back for a short distance, and then rejoin the traffic safely.

Ok, thank you. Ok, and how many people have responded to the consultation so far?

I think you’ve got the latest figures on that, haven’t you? It’s quite high as I recall.

Let’s have a look. Yes, 2,700 is the latest figure.

And that’s a really positive outcome.

Let’s see if we have any more coming through from people that are watching and listening. There’s one here. Just to say, if you do have a question, ask it in the app.

I think one of the good things with this is that we’ve had, to date, over 4,500 take part in this trial for the changes to the test. And that support from the ADI industry and the candidates themselves has really made this important. I mean, I appreciate that not everybody will agree with certain changes, and they’ll have their reasons for that, and that’s what we take into consideration. But ultimately, the research will decide whether these changes should be implemented or not. In other words, they will be evidence-based that has some benefits for us doing so. I can’t expect that every single person will agree to these changes, but so far the vast majority are supportive.

Ok, yeah. We’ve had another question, asking when it will be implemented, which I guess links to that.

Well it does link to that. I think… our hope is that if the consultation is successful and the research proves to be.. to provide the right outcomes, then our earliest possible implementation date would probably be early summer… late spring, early summer, next year.

Ok, thanks. Another one coming through here. Someone asking should there be a night drive element to the test?

I think there are elements in the whole curriculum of people learning to drive that should be covered in training. Like any exam the driving test or exams that people take for any subject you can only actually assess a small part of that curriculum.

But I do think that where possible obviously the wider amount of experience they get in a wider a variety of traffic and road conditions can only be of benefit, and driving at night is a challenge in it’s self and it is a high risk area for new drivers, so, clearly it would be recommended that that’s covered in training as clearly we can’t provide that in a testing environment.

Yeah. Another question’s asking erm, whether we should ask theory based questions during the practical test?

Well we used to many moons ago and I know there has been views that we could or should reintroduce some of that, but I think we’re working hard now to update the theory test and also the hazard perception test. Erm, and I don’t think that there is really time within the practical element to reintroduce theory test questions beyond what we propose for the safety question during the drive.

Ok. Another question, what recommendations do you have for choosing an instructure, an instructor, sorry, in light of these changes?

Well I think it’s a case of choosing an instructor whether it be now or in the future, I think that it’s important that you take time to make sure that the instructor is the right sort of person for you. Erm, personal recommendation from others who have experienced erm, taking lessons from that individual is a good thing. We have a facility on our website that describes, erm, that gives you where your nearest instructor is and we are now encouraging instructors to post their grading. So, all instructors are graded and I think it would be beneficial for you to look at what that grade is and indeed look at any other services they offer that suit your particular needs.

Ok, thank you. Erm, just have a look and see if some more are coming through, another one is coming through now. Erm, thinking about the show me, tell me questions, how do you think that asking a question on the move will work?

This is intended to demonstrate, to a candidate to receive instruction on how to deal with a distraction. So, at the point that we will ask a candidate to operate a specific element of car control is an everyday thing that people do when they are driving and the candidate will be given the choice of when that takes place. So, the approach will be, when you think it is safe to do so will you please demonstrate to how you would operate the demister or the rear windscreen washer or wiper and all that is just replicating what all new drivers do. You don’t put those controls on when you’re stationary, you’re always doing them when their moving. So, I think it is important that people understand that properly and that certainly is an element of satellite navigation also.

Erm, I had a report from one, erm, person taking the trial who said that she’d happily watched her father operate, drive by satellite navigation and thought it was very easy. But, when she chose, when she was undergoing instruction herself she realised how distracting it was and she was glad that she received training before she passed her test. In order to make sure that she could drive safely and not be distracted by the use of satellite navigation, so that’s a key reason why it’s included in the test.

That actually ties into the next question is, what about people who can’t use sat nav safely, not everyone can?

I rest my case, really. I think it’s important and far more beneficial for people be able to receive training and be confident in it’s use then leave it to chance, because we know that over 50% of motorists rely on satellite navigation. So, clearly we need to move with the times and make sure that people can operate them safely and not get fixated on it or distract from their awareness of what’s going on around.

Yeah. So someone’s asked, what about test centres that aren’t near dual carriageways and major roads?

Well that, in most cases this has allowed us to extend the routes by some margin, approximately 2 miles per test route and that will allow us to bring in a lot more variety. We appreciate that the test centres around the country have different hazards and different challenges and therefore they will not all replicate one another but it’s a question of the diversity of what we can include in the test to the advantage. Now, we hope to use faster roads, we hope to incorporate rural roads wherever we can, fully in the knowledge that they are the high risk areas for new drivers.

Ok, erm and here you’re being asked, will you be using public car parks like supermarkets for the parking exercises?

We have most definitely done that in the trial, but I think it’s important that we plan our routes carefully and make use of erm, of much more than local supermarket car parks. I think there’s a whole range of car parks that are available in use during the day time and it’s some we’re monitoring. We are looking to businesses to support it in the long term and because it’s only one of several manoeuvres and we’re using multiple locations we sincerely hope that people will support this initiative. Erm, as long as we don’t interfere with various businesses in their own customer service environment.

Which ties into the next one really, which is, you know, will the car parks be busy ones or ones with empty spaces around them and so on.

(Laughs). I mean this is going to be real life, so it’ll be what it’ll be, and some will be busier than others. But clearly we’re not going to put people in positions where, you know, we’re going to interrupt the general businesses that are going on around us, so similarly, we want it to be a real-life challenge. So I think, it’s like different areas - some are busy, some are not so busy at different times of the day, so that’s one that will be on its own merits.

Ok, back to sat navs. Someone’s pointed out different sat navs provide different terminology. Have you considered how this will affect the pupil?

Well we’re going to have a standard sat nav, and I would agree - mine in my car is slightly different to others that I’ve heard, but I don’t think that there’s such a variation that should cause any confusion as to where you want to go. I mean, I appreciate that some give additional warnings, some put road names up on the screen, but I think fundamentally it’s a fairly basic piece of kit that tells people where to go.

And let’s remember that this isn’t a navigation exercise, so if people go wrong with the route because of the instruction, then the whole purpose of that is that the satellite navigation will adjust the route and you follow it accordingly.

So I don’t think people should get too hung up on the fact that it’s always got to be the same. It’s not that important - it’s the management of it that’s important in terms of road safety, not whether they can follow directions specifically.

So just to confirm, someone’s asked, will you supply the sat nav?

Yes, we will for test purposes.


There’s one question that does keep coming up that I’ve seen elsewhere that might not be on that particular page and this is the issue of people being very upset about us encouraging people to drive forward into parking spaces.

And I accept that driving forward into a parking space isn’t necessarily best practice, but it is more often than not, very practical to do in certain circumstances. So when you go for your shopping and other things, I think the vast majority of us - me included - will drive forward into a parking space so that I can load my vehicle from the boot, which I won’t be able to do if I reverse into it.

So no, I fully support the fact that it isn’t best practice, but it also can be taught to people to do it in a safe manner, because undoubtedly in today’s driving, people will utilise that manoeuvre. And it is not dangerous - it is higher risk, and you have to know how to manage those risks.

Ok, we’ve been asked, will these changes also affect the ADI’s part 2 test.

Yes, that’s the next step. We haven’t focused on that at the moment, because this very much trying to bring in things that novice drivers need to overcome, so that is not going to affect the part 2 as is, but it may well do in the medium to short term.

Ok, another question. Why are we taking out the basic learning blocks of driving?

Is that it?


I don’t know what that means, to be fair. I mean, the only thing we’re taking out or changing, is perhaps some of the manoeuvres. And I think, we have to really understand the reasoning behind the changes, and it’s not that I don’t think, or we don’t think, or those that supported these changes don’t think that there’s value in learning a turn-in-the-road, or if you want to reverse around a corner 6 inches from the kerb, then please do it in the training environment. Nobody’s trying to dictate the way in which you prepare candidates for test.

What we’re saying is these are the elements that we will test those skills, and it may be by one of four means in terms of manoeuvres. But they all test the same thing. They test people’s ability to control the car at slow speed, it tests their ability to position it accurately, and it tests their ability to be aware of other traffic and the impact they might have on it. So in every case, that is what we’re assessing in the manoeuvre. So how you do it or what manoeuvre you choose is not really the significance here. And I fully expect that during the training… early days of training, you may start a manoeuvre by teaching people to do the turn-in-the-road, because it’s a fairly straightforward and easy manoeuvre.

Ok, thanks. Back to sat navs. Where are you going to stick the sat nav in the car?

In a safe place! And again that’s a good lesson for new drivers. It should be more or less in the centre of the screen, but at the lowest point you can access vision, so that it doesn’t distract from driver. But in exceptional circumstances we’re quite prepared to position it on the right-hand side of the driver if there’s a specific request.

But we will now be using a matt for the satellite navigation equipment to sit on rather than having to stick it to the windscreen - that is a proposal that we’re looking at within the trial.

In terms of the parking manoeuvres, will these still be in the test centre car parks?

We can still use those facilities, yeah, but they won’t always necessarily be there.

Ok, well I’m afraid that we’re now out of time. Thank you everyone for joining us.

And don’t forget, you’ve got until Thursday 25 August to respond to the consultation. So please visit to take part.

So thank you from Lesley. And from me. Goodbye.

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  1. Comment by John posted on

    I have been driving for 47 years (cars, buses & coaches) & the standard of driving today is very poor in some cases. I would say that a good way to improve the skill of driving would be for the learner to sit in the passenger seat or actually drive & commentate on the road ahead to establish the perception of hazards & what is going on around them. Furthermore the speed limit on some rural roads (single carriageway) is often 60mph which is too fast.
    How often has anyone seen a non restricted speed limit (60mph) just before a bend. Absolute madness.

    • Replies to John>

      Comment by Mark T (ADI) posted on

      John, I think you misunderstand the meaning of a speed limit- it is a limit, and not a target. What determines a drivers speed on a rural road is 1)- the limit point of their vision (the distance they can see to be clear ahead) 2)- the road surface 3)-weather conditions and 4)- other traffic. These conditions will vary from moment to moment, and will determine appropriate speed at any given point. These, and NOT the NSL sign will be your guide. Anyone with half a brain will realise this, and I make sure all my students fully appreciate the ramifications of speed on rural roads.

  2. Comment by Peter Cary posted on

    Why is the Agency apparently endorsing least best practice by testing..

    Reversing out of a bay, which is believed to be 10 times more dangerous than driving out.

    Stopping against the flow of traffic which is specifically advised against in the Highway Code.

    Whilst dropping a turn in the road and a left hand reverse, if these manoeuvres need to be tested and I suggest it is a very big if, why are they not added to the current manoeuvres.

    Surely a much greater improvement in new driver safety would be to get all candidates to complete 5 sections (obviously the Motorway section can not be done by a learner) of Pass Plus BEFORE taking the driving test thus allowing LIMIT POINT to be introduced to them as most fatalities are single car crashes on corners?

    • Replies to Peter Cary>

      Comment by PAUL GIBSON posted on

      Surely the best TWO ways to improve the Driving test is -
      1. Every 5 - 10 years EVERYONE is re-tested on Driving and Highway code not where you pass a test and you have a license for the rest of your life which is crazy.
      1. To get No claims discount from insurance companies instead of not having an accident it should incorporate courses ie 10% reduction for passing the ADI, 10% reduction for taking Skid pan course etc etc

  3. Comment by John Parsons posted on

    Will the new test include turning the vehicle round in a confined space in the safest possible manner?

  4. Comment by Bob ADI posted on

    Hi John,If you have been driving for 47 years you should by now know that the national speed limit on a single carriageway is not a target ,but driving is primarily about common sense so if taught wisely and with road safety in mind one would approach a bend to suit the conditions.

  5. Comment by David Rundle posted on

    Why do you not need to pass your test in the largest vehicle with in the class

  6. Comment by Steven Davies posted on

    Why do we seem to be promoting with the new test practices that go against advice that is given in the highway code rule 239 "do not park against the flow of traffic"
    We are now promoting reversing out of parking bays when best and safest practice is to reverse in and drive forward when leaving.
    Many companies have reverse park policies that are enforced when using there facilties,
    The Dvsa now seem to be legitimising bad practice with these proposals when surely they should be leading by example.

  7. Comment by James posted on

    Encouraging novice drivers to cross oncoming traffic to park facing the wrong direction and then to leave from such an unsafe position seems to be too hazardous when we should be promoting safer driving, thus reducing collisions and fatalities. I am concerned that the government and the DVSA in particular will ignore concerns and still go ahead with this planned alteration. I understand that in the USA this manoeuvre is illegal, perhaps it ought to be here in the UK.

  8. Comment by Stéphanie Sproat posted on

    I am alarmed that useful reversing manoeuvres are to be dropped. We all need to be able to turn our car around. Reversing around a corner might seem over formal, but we all use versions of it to turn our cars around or reverse into drives.
    Parking facing oncoming traffic is illegal in America and in Australia. If people are trained to do it, that approves the manoeuvre. The dangerous part is pulling away, not only with limited view, but across the path of oncoming traffic! Perhaps it should be illegal here? Dealing with limited view is already a necessary part of training. Sometimes lack of view is inevitable. Are changes being made for the sake of it? In my opinion, changes should be made because the benefit is obvious. Otherwise, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    • Replies to Stéphanie Sproat>

      Comment by Bill Anderson posted on

      There are lazy instructors out there and if manoeuvres are not included in the practical test they will not teach the students how to do them.

  9. Comment by Andrew Cahill posted on

    I do Fleet Training. And without fail, companies want us to get their drivers to reverse into bays, etc, and out forwards.
    So why is DVSA looking to bring, driving forwards into bays?

    Also, pulling up on the right hand side of the road and move away again. While I understand it's common for drivers to do it everyday driving, it's not best practise. On Fleet training, companies, especially where staff use vans, want their drivers to park on the left, as its safer for loading/unloading and when moving away.
    So again, this proposal is against what companies want their staff to do.
    And if you really want to bring this in, it's already there in the form of the Right Reverse.
    (Pulling up on the righthand side, then moving off to rejoin traffic afterwards).
    And on van training, companies want us to cover right reversing as well. So if this was more common on the L Test, it covers your proposals and covers what future fleet drivers would be required to do.

  10. Comment by Roy Cousins posted on

    I'm all in favour of change for the better. The proposed changes regarding removing turning manoeuvres do not then educate a new driver in a very necessary aspect of driving in the real world. With the changes around parking, well they just go against proven safest and best practice and what is advocated by the highway code. A far better option in my opinion would be a MINIMUM requirement of instruction pre test, say 50 hours and a documented record of achievement. Manoeuvres remaining as is but possibly ADDING the OPTION of a driving in and reversing out of a bay so it must be taught but might not appear on test in the existing style. Include an emergency stop on ALL tests. This is a potential lifesaving action. With independent driving, not all cars or drivers have sat navs. All roads have signs. Signs do not suffer from faulty power supplies or software glitches. The can also be distracting in unfamiliar circumstances and a practical test is nervy and unfamiliar enough. Please do not change for the sake of change but change for the better and reduce young casualties by better education and the introduction of a minimum amount of instruction by a QUALIFIED person and not removing but improving the existing test format.

  11. Comment by Jackie ADI posted on

    I agree with previous comment about parking on the right and also with Roy cousins comment about Sat Navs - not everyone will use them.

    Does the proposed new Sat Nav part of the test have accommodation for hearing impaired people or those whose first language is not English.

    I work in an area where English is commonly the second language of my pupils. They all say they will use a Sat Nav but will set it to their first language as this is easier- will this be allowed on the test?

  12. Comment by neil walsh posted on

    By changing the independent drive to following a sat nav , aren't you doing away with it all together ? it just becomes another voice giving the candidate direction rather than making sure the learner driver is looking out for all road signs

  13. Comment by Alastair Field posted on

    Why is the test still there in this day and age when most education is guided by assessments and in stages. Minimum hours of experience on the road in different conditions and proof of dealing with a variety of situations showing learners self assessing safely makes more sense. Many people fail their test through nerves assessment reduces test anxiety. It could be said these people are being discriminated against. Some even resort to beta blockers!

  14. Comment by Laurie Hinds posted on

    1 Until we know the post test crash statistics for the test and control groups it is NOT appropriate to pursue implementation of the proposed changes. The current consultation is premature. 2 Despite the majority of comments here being against driving into bays and pulling up on the right DVSA have proposed them. How can a body charged with improving driving standards come up with ideas so out of step with safe driving?

    • Replies to Laurie Hinds>

      Comment by Cooper posted on

      From what I have heard today, I think that once again our great DVSA is going to introduce these changes no matter what. I would suggest that driving instructors check the coverage of their insurance to be sure that the cover you have reflects some of these proposals. I think you will be quite shocked. Make sure you check your public liability section coverage. I agree that the driving tests needed to be changed, but this is not the way forward.

      • Replies to Cooper>

        Comment by Phil Harris posted on

        Can of worms.

  15. Comment by David Vyse ADI posted on

    I think increasing the Independant driving to 20mins is a good idea and I regularly do that myself on lessons,but I firmly believe in getting pupils to read the signs and road markings without the aid of a satnav to improve their planning and awareness.Only once they have had plenty of practice doing that,even as a FLH should the use of a satnav be considered as a possible aid on an unfamiliar journey.I think if it were part of the test we are then encouraging the use of them too early and planning and awareness would suffer.Regarding the parking exercises I agree with other comments that it goes against safe practice and the Highway Code,which as trainers surely this is what we should be teaching.I'm sure also that some pupils will not want to pay for lessons for skills that they won't be tested on

  16. Comment by Bob Stapleton posted on

    Where is it common park on the right? I can't say I drive down the road and see hundreds of people parking on the right all the time - despite it being illegal at night and contrary to the highway code in the day time.

    If they want to introduce a "realistic" manoeuvre, what about the taxi turn in the mouth of the junction instead of the left reverse? I can count on one hand the amount of times I've done a left reverse but I must have spun round in the mouth of junctions hundreds of time........

  17. Comment by Aziz sadrettin posted on

    I agree with most of the changes that are being considered but not all.Parking into a bay and reversing out is a manoeuvre that everyone does one time or other after passing the driving test and so it's a good idea to introduce that . Parking on the wrong side off the road is ridiculous, and should not be encouraged.Following a sat nav is not practising safe driving , safe driving is looking ahead and not looking down at a sat nav. Using more advanced routes is good. Increasing the independent driving is also good but to be done in the correct way . At the end of the day it's up to us Adi to encourage defensive driving and teach our learners on all types off roads with the Moto Safe Driving for Life

    • Replies to Aziz sadrettin>

      Comment by Yaqoob posted on

      Using Sat nav is not the best way of testing a learner they start to ignore signs and temporary hazards ahead tand rely on the sat nav too much. Best way to test candidates on independent driving is ask them to follow signs. Parking on the right not a good idea to much risk at that level.

  18. Comment by tharka posted on

    why we are only talking about cars, there are so many types of vehicle on the road and sharing road safety.

  19. Comment by Debbie Wales posted on

    Although I realise that the test changed some years ago regarding using an interpreter. In Wales we still have the option to our pupils to take their test in Welsh, will this be available on the sat nav part of the test?

    • Replies to Debbie Wales>

      Comment by Thomas (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Debbie,

      The test will continue to be available in Welsh. Unfortunately a Welsh speaking sat-nav isn't available yet, as soon as one is DVSA will look to provide this equipment. Independent driving will still continue to follow traffic signs, so no Welsh tests will be affected with the proposed changes.



  20. Comment by John posted on

    I think that most of the changes are welcomed, however moving off from the right hand side of the road facing the traffic is asking for trouble.

    You say Lorry drivers do it taxi drivers do it and drivers just swoop across dangerously to park on the oppersite side of the road never mine stopping traffic at both sides taking quite a while to manoeuvre out of the space or dangerously speeding out!

    Realistically your creating more of a problem when they pass the New Driving Test the will be too confident in pulling out from the right and possibly cause more danger!

    I would agree with turning the car around in the mouth of a junction (taxi turn) much safer then they could park with the traffic on the left!

  21. Comment by Ben Graham posted on

    I feel the changes to the test are broadly a good step forward.

    Whilst reversing into a space will always remain best practice, there are many occasions in real life where this isn't appropriate. The 'reverse right' manoeuvre is essential for van drivers as well as cars where through-view is blocked, but this can (must) be covered in training rather than test. Sorry to say this doesn't appear to happen often, but if it comes up occasionally on tests then it will get taught!

    However, the test of competence itself is still seen as the end of their training for most drivers. The most likely group of people to pass the test first time are the same group most likely to have a serious collision in their first years of driving - young men.

    I would propose a two hour session within six months of passing, another 1 to 2 years after passing. Minimum 30 minutes 'theory', 1 hour 'practical' - more focused towards the decisions we make (Goals for Driver Education, levels 3 & 4 - test mainly levels 1 & 2).

    DVSA already has established a level of ADI to deliver this (fleet). In time I believe the insurance savings will outweigh the cost of another 4 hours training by some margin.

  22. Comment by Kevin Biggs posted on

    I really don't understand why all the comments made are of a negative nature. Surely it does not matter what the DVSA want to teachh learner drivers, it's the responsibility of the ADI to teach students how to drive on wide ranging roads and variable traffic loadings to maximise their road reading and vehicle handling skills. If any element of manoeuvring is removed, it does not mean that you have to stop teaching it. Everything that I have read indicates that majority of teaching is still based on doing just enough to pass the test.

  23. Comment by Mick Bull posted on

    The use of sat navy's is ok!
    Will the DVSA be purchasing sat nave for all instructors, or is this yet another cost we have to bear ourselves?
    I am under the impression that using private car parks (Supermarkets etc) was illegal, certain retailers in my area have forbidden us ADI's from using there facilities, including my local parish council run car park. (I have been informed that we should have our own car parks for practice, yes, really).
    I do not agree with the comment that ADI's grades should be used to choose your driving instructor.
    Grades depend on one persons assessment on another persons style of teaching.
    I think all ADI's teach in the style that suits the individual pupil, not a set way for all, so the check test is usually taken by an ADI trying to teach "to the book" and not naturally.
    Recommendation and local identity is the best way to choose your instructor..

  24. Comment by Dr Eacott posted on

    As an ex examiner for advanced driving candidates,.Why can't you incorporate some of these 'systems' within the basic driving test?

  25. Comment by Martin Taylor posted on

    I have made my feelings clear in the consultation, and obviously others agree with me, regarding the issue of driving forward into a parking bay and parking on the WRONG side of the road. From this interview it appears obvious to me that the decisions about this, as well as the other points, have already been made and the process of consultation is a smoke screen.
    The purpose of a driving teat is to promote safe driving, not to encourage drivers to follow the herd.

  26. Comment by Roger Marsh posted on

    Yet again government policies are being changed for the worse! it is not safer to drive in and reverse out of ANY confined space, and to use the suggestion to pull up on the right and move off because thats what postmen and delivery men do is ludicrous, we are talking about brand new drivers! not seasoned drivers who may drive a van and are far more experienced. Just because The DVSA suggests it, it does not make it better! If you want to come up with something sensible then increase the penalties for new drivers for any road offense, it is attitudes that need changing. Good driving comes with experience.

  27. Comment by Steve posted on

    These changes beggar belief. I'm a motorcycle instructor and we have had many changes to the practical test and licence legislature aimed at reducing accident rates and promoting safe riding. If I were to be inspected by the DVSA and found to be giving instruction contrary to the advice in the Highway Code I'd be in for the high jump regardless of how it may be more in tune with 'real world' road use. Yet now it seems because a lot of drivers perform an action it should be accepted. Also, as supermarket car parks are private property how will instructors fare if their is a collision between their pupil and another at-fault vehicle?
    Why not have test candidates completing their tests with a thumping bass track on the stereo as another alternative as most of them will be driving with one once they have passed?
    On a completely different note, if there is to be parity amongst young drivers how about introducing age to power restrictions on the vehicles they can drive just as motorcyclists have to suffer? Surely if it is intended to reduce accidents by limiting the machine used it should apply to all.

  28. Comment by RJ posted on

    The DVSA are losing the plot in regards "safe driving for life" !

  29. Comment by Bob Whitlow posted on

    Mr. bob. ADI

    On the present test we only do the left reverse, the pupil is never asked to do the right reverse,
    Is this because it is regarded as to dangerous? Or is it because you have to stop and park on the right hand side of the road facing the oncoming traffic and reversing back two to three car lengths? I teach my pupils to do the right reverse so I have no problem with the idea of parking on the right hand side of the road , we do get some confused looks from other drivers as if we don,t know what we're doing

  30. Comment by Sotiris Charalambous posted on

    I fully like the new changes.

    I do wish that in the near future, when fully licence holders have had at least ten years of experience to do another test, but not a test to lose the licence but to improve it, it would be an advance licence.

    For example: Gold star Licence for first time passers, then 2 Gold star licence, after ten year test if passed, and so on...

    Then this could be used for the insurance policy's as it is when your advanced driver cheaper insurance, but if you've not driven for ten years this would show on your test on the tenth year test.

  31. Comment by Mike posted on

    I am in favour of the proposed changes, it give realism to the driving test, I think it somewhat narrow minded of instructors to think the reverse to the left emerging from blind spots etc. is now dropped form the driving test just because it is not assessed in that stylised way. The whole roundedness of the candidate depends on the syllabus for driving to be covered, not about only preparing the candidate for the items on the test, with out the understanding and coaching we supply as trainers the candidate will not fully appreciate the difficulties and complexities of driving. It is good to see the test becoming more real life and offering those challenges, but we MUST continue to adhere to the syllabus and enhanced the driving experiences for our pupils to become excellent test candidates and competent driver for the future who will in turn be the role models for their families etc. coming through over the next 10 to 20 years and beyond.

  32. Comment by Ken Smith posted on

    Having read some of the comments made so far I wonder where the training element has been mislaid by some. Yes it can be dangerous to park on the right facing traffic. Yes it's illegal at night without lights etc. Yes, more care must be used when reversing out of a parking bay. But it happens!
    Our role must be to provide the information during training as to why it's dangerous etc and provide best practice as to how you should park. BUT it will happen and we have a collective responsibility to teach how to do it and minimise the risk

  33. Comment by Charles Owens posted on

    There is a lot wrong with our driving industry. However instead of using resourses to concentrate on and improving the industry, I feel that what is being proposed in these changes is taking a tremendous step backwards. I assume that these people leading these changes are themselves drivers. If that is the case it only makes it harder to accept what is being proposed. The change regarding going on to the wrong side of the road and then to drive on, I can not believe that such an exercise is even being considered.

  34. Comment by Bob Inman posted on

    Agree with a lot of changes. More realistic Test.
    Can't agree with use of at nav. - just an additional pressure for pupil in a Test that is meant to test their ability to operate the car SAFELY - not follow instructions on directions.
    Driving forward in to a parking space?? I have spent over 10 years saying what a bad and, consequently, dangerous practice this is - NOW we are going instruct it 'because it's what people do'. People use phones and text whilst driving - is that to be included in Test next??

    • Replies to Bob Inman>

      Comment by John (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Bob

      Using a sat nav safely means that you aren't distracted by it, and still act on all the information available to you - including traffic signs and road markings.

      At the moment, a new driver could use a sat nav without any training or testing, which is why it can be more dangerous.

      The national standard for driving cars sets out what drivers must be able to do and what they must know and understand to use sat nav safely. This includes:

      - knowing that sat nav can sometimes fail, and how to prepare for that happening
      - being able to monitor and respond appropriately to instructions provided by sat nav, without being distracted from the driving task
      - knowing that you must always act on the basis of what is in front of you, and not just rely on the information provided by sat nav

      The national standard for driver and rider training sets out what instructors and trainers must be able to do and what they must know and understand to train learner drivers to do this.

      The standards are available here:

      The new test would include either driving forward into a space and reversing out, or reversing into a space and driving out. So learners should be taught to do both safely.

      We accept that driving forward into a parking space isn’t necessarily best practice. However, it's very practical to do in certain situations, for example, when you need to load your vehicle from the boot.

      It can be taught so people can do it safely. It's a higher-risk manoeuvre, and drivers need to know how to manage those risks.

      We think it’s far better that they’re trained to deal with the risks associated with it, rather than leave it to good fortune once they’ve passed their driving test.

      • Replies to John (DVSA)>

        Comment by Peter Cary posted on

        Hi John,

        Has the agency made any enquiries into why so many people drive into parking spaces?

        I have asked many members of the public why they have driven into the bay and most people tell me it is easier.

        Very few tell me it is to get their shopping in the boot, those who do agree it is possible to carry their bags along the side of the car and place them into it.

        A large number of people who took their test where the DVSA did not have parking bays at the Test Centres told me their instructor had given the little or no training as to how to do it.
        NONE told me they requested more training to accomplish this skill safely.

        ALL the respondents felt EVERY Test Centre should have the facility to test reverse bay parking, before apparently condoning least best practice of reversing out of the bay by testing it.

        EVERYONE felt it was wrong to pull up and stop on the WRONG side of the road AND did NOT AGREE with dropping TIR or the LR.

        How do these answers compare to the angency's result?

        • Replies to Peter Cary>

          Comment by John (DVSA) posted on

          Hi Peter

          Hopefully your reply to the consultation will include as much detail as possible on what the public have told you so that can be taken into account.

          So far, we’ve had over 2,800 responses to the consultation. We’re not able to share the results until after the consultation has closed. However, when we do publish them, you'll be able to see how many respondents agreed or disagreed with each proposal.

  35. Comment by Mercy posted on

    I think everyone should take the driving test including those who bring driving licence from other countries to exchange for British ones.

  36. Comment by Constance posted on

    I thank you are doing a very good job for everybody to be safety on the roads
    if we keep working together we drivers or non drivers It means everybody.

    One thing I like to say is using phones when driving its a KILLER . DVSA is time to make it more difficulty for those drivers are still using phones while driving.I am saying this because I keep seeing drivers using phones. Honestly DVSA please make it more and more difficulty

    I fully like the new changes.

    • Replies to Constance>

      Comment by John (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Constance

      Thank you for your feedback.

      The Department for Transport asked for feedback earlier this year on proposed changes to penalties for the offence of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving. The feedback is being analysed and the government's response will be republished in due course.

      Find out more here:

      • Replies to John (DVSA)>

        Comment by Peter Cary posted on

        Hi John,

        It is currently LEGAL to use a hands free phone whilst driving..


        It is recognised that in doing so one is at least FOUR TIMES more likely to crash.

        I am a driving instructor and a Fleet Registered Trainer, most companies DEMAND that I have my phone switched OFF, some require it to be locked in the boot as well.


        As currently I am telling my clients to switch their phones off whenever driving, but from your response that people are crashing because they have not been taught how to do it safely, is the agency considering introducing this into the driving test soon?

  37. Comment by Douglas Taylor ADI NI posted on

    Having watched the interview with Lesley Young I noticed she said that they would provide Sat Nav's on test day. What if the car is already fitted with a Sat Nav as many new cars are? Would it be acceptable to use that equipment as, presumably the learner would be used to that during training?

  38. Comment by Douglas Taylor ADI NI posted on

    I would add that I agree with the proposed changes as they seem to provide a more realistic environment for testing new drivers. It still remains with us as instructors to inform and produce safe drivers for the future and this should encompass ALL aspects of driving in todays busy roads.

  39. Comment by Terry Pegg posted on

    How about having a 2 tier test, the candidate trains as they do now and complete the 'L' Test. If they pass the 'L' test they are issued a Trainee licence for 12 months with restritions on engine size (They have to display green L plates by law for 12 months).
    During that 12 months the Trainee has to complete a minimum of 6 hours extra tution with ADI on Motorway, Night, Wet and winter driving, this is signed by ADI.
    The Trainee after 12 months completes a 2nd test (taking signed sheet) if they pass the 2nd test they receive a full licence. If they fail they are issued another trainee licence with a futher 6 hours extra training.
    I'm sure this will ensure young/new drivers stay focused on safety if they want a full licence.

    This will also prevent learners from being at Mum & Dad driving school and pass a test without ADI input, if they receive 6 or more points during trainee period they have to complete extended test as 2nd test with all manouvres tested.

    I understand the DVSA can't cope with tests now but stop the anybody can book a test method, only allow a ADI's to book the tests this will also help road safety.
    I have refused people for test due to dangerous attitudes on the road only to find they book and pass a test going against my advice.

    The system needs toughening up not streamlining to suit the general publics attitude on the road, enforce road safety not appease it by changing it to suit the magority. listen to the people who are at the sharp end, the ones who receive abuse from ORU's while doing our best to promote road safety and a safer attitude on the road against all the odds.