https://despatch.blog.gov.uk/2016/08/18/driving-test-consultation-one-week-left-to-have-your-say/

Driving test consultation: one week left to have your say

driving-test-consultation-closing-time

There's one week to go before the public consultation on improving the car driving test closes. So far we've had over 2,800 responses to the consultation and lots of feedback on my previous blog post, and on Facebook and Twitter.

I thought now would be a good time to update you on the trial of the changes we've been running, and share some of the positive feedback we’ve had from road safety professionals.

Trialling the changes

An interim update on the trial involving over 800 approved driving instructors (ADIs) and 4,500 learner drivers is in the consultation document.

The findings suggest that learners who took the new test:

  • spent more time driving on fast dual carriageways with their ADI when learning
  • spent more time following directions from a sat nav with their ADI when learning
  • had greater confidence that they could safely use a sat nav in their future driving, with no adverse attitudes to other distractions
  • had a self-reported driving style that was ‘less decisive, experienced, confident and fast’, and therefore was slightly safer

The pass rate for the 2 tests is statistically indistinguishable. Being assigned to sit the new test had no impact on:

  • the number of lessons taken
  • the time taken to pass the test

What happens next

We'll get another report from TRL later this year. It'll tell us whether candidates who took the new test had more, fewer or the same number of collisions as those taking the current test.

We'll take that report and the responses to this consultation into account before making a final decision on whether to proceed with the new test.

Demonstrating the changes

A demonstration of the new test was held in July 2015 for road safety organisations, including driver trainers and other representative organisations, such as:

  • the Motor Schools Association of Great Britain (MSA GB)
  • the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS)
  • Road Safety Great Britain
  • the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA)
  • the AA
  • the RAC Foundation

Another demonstration was held in November 2015 for the following disability representative groups:

  • the British Deaf Association
  • Disabled Motoring UK
  • the Dyspraxia Foundation

Feedback from road safety professionals

Feedback at both events from attendees was positive.

Driving Instructors Association CEO, Carly Brookfield, said:

We fully welcome the developments to the test and are compelled by the evidence we have seen to date from the trial to recommend that these long overdue developments are made to a driving test - which has been fundamentally unchanged for over 20 years and has not kept pace with how our roads and driver behaviour has developed over time.

Mark Peacock, Head of BSM said:

The proposed changes to the practical driving test, particularly the extended independent driving and use of a sat nav, should help to produce better, safer motorists.

 

We have already had positive feedback from our instructors and their pupils and therefore fully support these proposed changes.

Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation, said:

These proposed changes recognise that it is more important for candidates to demonstrate the capability to drive independently on high-risk roads, than being able to reverse flawlessly into a quiet cul-de-sac.

 

The new approach will be deemed a success if, in the longer-term, it produces better-prepared drivers and we experience fewer road casualties. Meantime, we hope these common sense changes will be rolled out swiftly.

Edmund King OBE, AA president, said:

We know that new drivers are a higher risk on the roads therefore we need to better prepare them for real world driving.

 

These changes will test drivers in a more realistic manner which is essential to improving their safety once their L plates are removed.

John Lepine MBE General Manager of MSA GB said:

We have been pleased to be involved with this initiative from the beginning. Great Britain’s driver trainers are very excited by the opportunity to teach more real-life driving to new drivers.

 

Incorporating these changes into the test will mean that learners will be better prepared for the distractions that modern driving conditions produce.

 

Many of our members have been involved in the trials of the revised test and have said their pupils have really enjoyed the changed syllabus.

David Davies of PACTS, said:

I welcome the proposed changes to the practical driving test. The extended independent driving element places more emphasis on real-world driving and on safety.

 

Nobody gets killed making a three point turn in a cul de sac. New drivers need to be more skilled and experienced in driving at speeds on a variety of roads.

 

The signs are that this test will assess those aspects more thoroughly. PACTS welcomes the trial and looks forward to the evaluation.

Video interview

lesley-young-periscope-interview

I hope that you've been able to catch up on the video interview I held last week about the consultation. Many thanks to those of you who took part and have commented since.

Following road signs

One of the things still causing concern is the belief that we’ll no longer be asking candidates to follow road signs.

I want to emphasise that there’ll still be the option for candidates to follow road signs. Not all candidates will be asked to do independent driving using sat nav - some will still be asked to follow road signs.

Don't miss this chance to give your views

The consultation closes at 11:45pm on Thursday 25 August.

If you haven't yet, please do take the time to give your views and encourage others to do the same.

 

102 comments

  1. Dave

    Learner and new drivers should be concentrating on driving saftly and looking at where they are driving, not trying to follow a sat-nav, add that to the driver plus programme!

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    • linda

      Totally agree with Dave what has a sat nav got to with learning to drive

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      • John (DVSA)

        Hi Linda

        52% of car drivers now have sat nav, and research shows that figure is higher for younger drivers.

        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: https://www.gov.uk/dvsa/driving-standards

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        • mary bowen

          Hi John
          You refer to the National Standards for Driving but element 2.2.5 points out the need to know how to manoevre the veh if you don't test the pupils on these the will be not taught by all means add sat nav and any other things to the test but not at the expense of others you have a national standard of education but if you take out algebra it will no longer be taught DVSA must ensure these things are taught and the only way this can be done is to make sure you have the opertunity to test on all aspects of the national standard of driving.

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          • John (DVSA)

            Hi Mary

            The whole learning to drive syllabus should be covered in training. Like any exam, the driving test can't assess the whole syllabus.

            We want candidates to spend more time driving on higher-risk roads during the test - the type of roads where most fatalities occur.

            Using sat navs will give us the chance to use test routes with more of these types of roads, as we won't need to rely exclusively on traffic signs. In the trials we've been running, we've been able extend the driving test routes by around 2 miles per route as a result.

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      • john Greenwell

        Young drivers brains dont fully develop as far as dangers on the road or thinking it will never happen to them until they are about 25. If you REALLY want to keep young drivers safe after their test, bring in new rules such as.
        P mates must be used for two years after test.
        No engine bigger than 1000cc without modifications for two years after passing.
        No more than one passenger for two years after passing.
        If you get more than six points within two years of passing you are banned for 12 months and revert back to a learner.
        All new driver MUST use a black box for two years after passing.
        Maybe even have a second part to the test after two years of passing. To fail it would mean more refresher lessons. A two part test like motor cycles. After two years young drivers will be a lot more sensible with experience and age.
        I think to make the test harder will make a lot of youngsters feel as if they are even more amazing drivers and will take bigger chances and risks. Its after the test where the problems are not passing it. You can make the test as hard as you like, but it wont change driving attitudes of the young. We've all been in that place. Please save lives after they pass and try to pull in the reigns a little. If it saved one life it would be worth it. Safe driving for life not just to pass the test.

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        • spooks

          To John Greenwell,
          a very interesting view, but I think its down to politics rather than safety. What party would EVER allow that. Yes I think in my heart you are quite right about keeping an eye on the young drivers after passing. That's when their problems start. That's when they need to be watched. Once passed they are forgotten, wrong, so wrong.
          Oh the sat nav, no way, they are young and inexperienced. Maybe later when they are more confident they should think about sat navs.

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    • Jacqui

      I also agree with Daved, plus the added fact that if someone starts to mess with satnavs while driving as do people using mobile phones.

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    • Mr Dominic McGuinness

      Adding in Sat Nav should be included in the test, but the test should not loose the skill of following road signs, such as road closures that sat navs do not take in to consideration. Such devices are not fallible. I HAVE HAD SAT NAV FAIL AND HAD TO GO BACK TO A PAPER MAP (ROAD ATLAS).

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    • Martin

      I couldn't agree more. But I'm just an ADI so what do I know. It seems to me the powers that be have already made up there mind. It's not really a consultation just a PR exercise.

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    • Susanna Swift

      I have been one off the driving schools that was involved in the Sat nav trial. On a pupils sat nav trial test, she was so busy looking at the screen she hit a kerb, i therefore come to the conclusion that this is a distraction and also proves how dangerous this could be for a total novice. most parents say they would rather see their children concentrating on the road not a gadget. I also believe that the Sat nav should be introduced on the pass plus once they have had some driving experience. Just recently I have been teaching a deaf pupil and tried out the Sat nav with her because she couldn't listen to the device she was looking at it to much and I had to take evasive action 8 times by using the steering wheel and dual controls. I feel an ADI has enough to deal with without this added feature. Please don't add this to the new test. I want to uphold the DVSA motto safe driving for life.

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  2. Mrs kennedy

    I feel the driving test final decision shouldn't only be up to the examiner as some examiners seem to be unfair . I am a single mum who have taken 5 test the last three of them being with the same examiner who seem to dislike my face failing me on the most petty things ,1road marking which have faded away , driving on a 40 road not up to 40 , then driving too fast ( so he saids) shouldn't it be your overall driving you are tested on ? With 6 min points I wonder each time .

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  3. James

    The pass rate for the 2 tests is statistically indistinguishable. Being assigned to sit the new test had no impact on:

    the number of lessons taken
    the time taken to pass the test

    If this is true, why spend time and money on a driving format that technically will not make any difference to the every day driving skills of average motorist.

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    • John (DVSA)

      Hi James.

      As Lesley explains, the interim trial results have shown that learners who were trained for the new test:

      - had greater confidence that they could safely use a sat nav in their future driving, with no adverse attitudes to other distractions
      - had a self-reported driving style that was ‘less decisive, experienced, confident and fast’, and therefore was slightly safer

      The further research report due later this year will tell us whether candidates who took the new test had more, fewer or the same number of collisions as those taking the current test.

      Link to this comment
      • Carol Gledhill

        As this new proposal test is totally not suitable for a deaf driver.I propose it discriminates them as it would make it even harder to pass and in my opinion dangerous.there attention would be taken away from what is important.and what is wrong with the independent drive as it is and a good road atlas.

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        • John (DVSA)

          Hi Carol

          We have involved the British Deaf Association (http://www.bda.org.uk/) in the development of these proposals. A BDA representative came to the DVSA Training Academy to take the new test. They found it a far better way to experience the driving test, rather than trying to deal with hand signs or try to hear anything the examiner might say to them.

          52% of car drivers have a sat nav, and research shows that figure is higher with younger people. We know that sat navs can be a distraction. That's why it's important that new drivers are trained to manage using them so their focus isn't taken off the road and what's around them.

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

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  4. Phil

    I agree with the above comments totally. I would also like to see the pass plus made compulsory and not be allowed on the motorways until they compleat the course.

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  5. jim palmer

    night time driving should be in the test

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    • spooks

      Errrr night time tests noooo what driving examiner would go out in summer for tests at 11pm. Its not dark till then. What instructor would be up that late after a full day. So driving in the dark is not even an option is it.
      I cant understand why they want youngsters to use sat navs.. Its bad enough them texting, putting cds in, tuning the radio, lighting a cigarette, let alone looking at the sat nav screen, and they will for sure. Very very bad move, accidents just waiting to happen. Remember they are on their best behavior on test. Wait till they are let loose.

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  6. Steve P

    Impress that they should not drive while wearing earphones that seams to be the new way of driving

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  7. Anne Smith

    We have great difficulty finding cars available to use for reverse parking on the correct side of the road, it will not make the task any easier trying to find a car on the wrong side of the road. We still get abuse for using cars and holding up the traffic this will get worse stopping traffic on both sides of the road. Are you gong to ask youngsters to put their music on? That is really important to them, they can't do that easily. Using a dual carriageway is great if you have them in your area but I refuse to join the band of con merchants who take pupils for 2 hour lessons to fill their diary and then spend an hour on a dual carriageway stopping of for coffee beaks along the way. If my pupils all had 2 hours I would be working 7 days week 12 hours a day. Surely the Pass Plus is the tool for the extension to a pupils learning after test. We always say the learner test is to show a persons capability to drive safely and confidently on their own, it is not the end of their learning but the beginning.

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  8. Martin Bevan

    i wholeheartedly agree with dave, new drivers should indeed be purely concentrating on the road ahead, if driving while usung a mobile phone is dangerous trying to follow a satnav could be regarded as driving without 'due care & attention' anyone with a morsel of common sense including most driving instructors could tell you this, please do NOT listen to the bosses of some of the larger driving schools they do not have the experience of us adi's, to recap it will be DANGEROUS to other road users for learners to use a satnav on test, people in charge please take note, i have spoken to many adi's about this & they all agree with me

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    • John (DVSA)

      Hi Martin.

      It’s illegal to drive using a hand-held mobile phone, but it's not illegal to use sat nav.

      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: https://www.gov.uk/dvsa/driving-standards

      We're encouraging all ADIs to give their views by visiting https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-the-car-driving-test

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      • Paul Lawrence

        Martin never said it was illegal, but he correct to call it 'driving without due care and attention'. Unfortunately it is an offence that is open to interpretation. A quick glance at the SAT NAV would likely be ok, but to much time spent looking at the screen could be considered by the police to be an offence.

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        • John (DVSA)

          Hi Paul

          That's why it's important that new drivers are trained to use a sat nav, so their focus isn't taken off the road and what's around them.

          At the moment, a new driver could use a sat nav without any training from a road safety professional. Rather than leaving it to chance, we want new drivers to be trained to meet what the national standard for driving for cars (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-standard-for-driving-cars-and-light-vans) says about using sat nav safely.

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          • Martin Davis

            It seems that the consensus of opinion from the adi is against the use of satnav. All your replies are defensive and therefore lead me to believe the decision has already been made. To call this a consultation is wrong, yes, have a trial but when the results are inconclusive, don't defend your trial. I think perhaps you are afraid of public opinion being 'what a waste of money', you will therefore push for the measures to be implemented regardless of what driving instructors are telling you.

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          • John (DVSA)

            Hi Martin

            Sorry if you think the responses are coming across as defensive... tone is always difficult in writing.

            We’re explaining the reasons why these are the changes that have been proposed. DVSA spent time talking to driving instructor associations, academics, and others with a road safety interest to develop these proposals.

            With a further 48 hours to go, we still want as many people as possible to go to https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-the-car-driving-test and answer the consultation questions.

            We haven't yet had a final report on the trial. We'll get that later this year. That report will tell us whether candidates who took the new test had more, fewer or the same number of collisions as those taking the current test.

            We'll take that report and all the responses to the consultation into account before making a final decision on whether to proceed with the new test.

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    • Karen

      Karen ADI 9 years.
      You keep repeating 'as Lesley explains that some candidates will still be asked to follow the road sign' - OK , we get that but I'm not sure ADIs are being listened to when we say Sat Nav is a distraction and a silly thing to add to the test as it is dangerous to take your eyes and mind off the road . Please , you don't need to reapeat that this is the reason it's being introduced ...it's a bad decision full stop. Also reversing on the wrong side of the road into a side road just leaves us open to more abuse and angering other road users . You may not be using these on every test but we still have to teach them on every lesson/pupil ! Your not the ones on the ground in the firing line .

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  9. RIZ

    learner and drivers need to concentrate on roads, phones should be banned and made illegal to use whilst driving, people should do theory test that haven't as knowledge is most older drivers don't have.

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  10. Kevin

    Using a satnav should be part of the test. Many new drivers need to use a satnav soon after passing their test. Very few take pass+ training. It often takes new drivers a year or more to realise they only learnt to pass the test ... and that they will be the rest of their life learning to drive. So the more they have to learn to pass the test then the better they will be.

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  11. Mark

    All for safer drivers in the future, so I would expect just that with these new changes. I personally believe that people should take refresher courses to allow for any changes in the law or driving conditions. Say every 5 years a compulsory short test should be taken.

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    • Michael

      I agree that you should have refresher lesson every 5 years and it should be linked to your car insurance it could be make drivers aware of the new rules of the road.

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      • Paul Lawrence

        Agree to, but would add a requirement for an proper eye test.

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  12. Roger Marsh

    These proposed changes will not make a blind bit of difference to road safety as all my pupils have access to fast moving roads during the lessons anyway. And it now seems the pupils are being forced to use a sat nav whether they want to or not! However, i do notice that only positive feedback has been published from our professionals, not one seemed to think it dangerous to reverse out of spaces, or have a slightly negative opinion about the changes. . . strange.

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    • Carol Gledhill

      I agree would think reversing in should be deemed as a safer way to park ,and out forward.I can see the news now test candidate runs over shopper whilst doing new test manoeuvres.what happens if after parking forward into bay some shopper decides to park 2 inches away what with nerves on test potential nightmare.would prefer to see compulsory pass plus within 3 months of passing test

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  13. Ann Ellis

    There are more and more youngsters on the road now, some of them, especially new drivers, easily distracted by showing off to fiends who are in the car with the driver. There needs to get a more serious attitude to other drivers on the road. Safe drivers are being put at risk because of these fun loving and inexperienced drivers. My personal opinion is that being a younger driver could open up more job opportunities, either in the driving field or being able to go further a field to take advantage if jobs that are not in a regular bus route. However, youngsters must understand the importance of consideration to all other drivers and patience when driving.

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  14. Jeff

    Sat Navs are of variable quality some excellent other at best dubious. One once told me to turn left on the M5 on a perfectly straight stretch of road with no exit. This Sat Nav was from one of the major manufacturers. When doing testing this should be taken into account by the examiner. Sat Nav's are not perfect.

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  15. Terry hoppsx

    Sat navs for me are not about the use of them but how often will a new driver actually use one it wont be day to day driving, and will using one on driving test reduce accidents no, the one they use on test have a screen no it's just a sat nav with verbal instruction, the same as a examiner doing it, I agree with loosing left reverse, parking on the right and moving away isn't again something that will be done on day to day drive and instructors could implement that's into the driving instruction. Reversing in and out of spaces totally agree, if it's to do with improving day to day driver safety and will be used more than not I am all for its..

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    • Carol Gledhill

      Totally not good for my deaf student tried the Sat nav disaster.and a disgrace that no BSL examiner for deaf candidates.when they go for test examiner can not communicate with them and I had to provide white board and marker for him to give instruction holding in front of face .not good!as he covered her driving view.only by me constantly giving advice to him from the back seat did get through the test.

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    • Paul Lawrence

      All the existing maneuvering parts should stay along with the new ones. As to whether they should be done is a public space is debatable. Maybe its time for the UK to invest in proper testing centers.

      In my test 25+ years ago. I had to do:-

      Inclind start, parallel parking to the left and right, Alley docking to the left and right, emergency stop. three point terns and reversing between two parallel lines

      We might not use them every day, but for the test their a measure of you ability to control your vehicle.

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  16. Shiv

    Introducing using handsfree phone whilst driving would be better test than SatNav use; Joking aside, I agree with compulsory pass+, and 5yr refresher. 1yr refresher for non-UK licence holder. As basic road rules are being neglected/forgotten after some time. Sat Nav is not a necessary tool.

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  17. Mark andrews

    I agree with the above poster people who currently hold full car licences struggle with a Sat nav all you got to do is look at media reports more emphasis on driving skills a skid pan more car maintenance how to change a tyre etc would be better

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  18. Dean

    I think there is some very good comments about what should be in the test but sat nav is one thing that should be far from been in the test as they would relay on the sat nav in stead of reading road signs and I think they should be restricted to the engine size of the car for 2 or 3 years as when they have passed there test what is stopping them from going out and buying a focus st which would be too powerful for them to handle and I think driving on the motorway should be part of the test as I see Some young people driving slower than a truck which is limited to 56 mph on the motorway

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    • Paul Lawrence

      Very true Dean. This might explain why most UK drivers also insist on driving right up to the end of the slip lane before joining the main carriage way.

      I learnt to drive initially in a country that allowed learner drivers to practice on motorways. The judgement call was up to the person supervising. We were taught to join the main carriage way as soon as possible after the solid line became broken.

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  19. Zahida Hamir

    Driving on dual carriage way is easy the most difficult part for learners is tight juctions. and use of sat Nab is just going to put them more at risk as they are distracted easily thre is nothing wrong with the current test

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  20. PAUL GIBSON

    Their is TWO ways to improve the standard of Driving in Britain
    1. EVERYONE is re-tested every 5-10 years on both Driving and the Highway Code
    2. To get your No Claims Insurance down it shouldn,t be just about no accidents, drivers should have to take courses - 10% for passing the IAM,10% for going on a skid pan course, 10% for passing pulling a trailer etc etc etc

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  21. Diana

    Unless DVSA make available bays to teach/ practice I think it's unfair to our pupils as in the area of London that I teach it's NOT possible to find suitable car parks. The DVSA have 3 other manuvers to test our pupils skills, why not use one of them instead. All manuvers except bays can be taught on any public road instead of us trespassing in supermarkets. This problem needs to be solved and not ignored as it has been up to now!

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    • Mrs Nishi Varma

      Yes you are right the problem of bay parking practice should be looked into. I feel like I am committing a crime whenever I am using private property for teaching a bay parking, every organisation has cctv, of course it is wrong we are not allowed to use test centres either
      We are told by everyone we should know the law, we do, but it is not fair on our pupils either
      In the end instructor is caught up in the middle
      Nishi

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  22. ray

    I dont think the 20 minutes independent drive is a bad idea, but I find the use of a sat nav to be included in the driving test a ridiculous idea, how on earth can this make anybody a safer driver.

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    • John (DVSA)

      As Lesley explains, some driving test candidates will still be asked to follow road signs. It's also really important to recognise that 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.

      We know that sat navs can be a distraction. That's why it's important that new drivers are trained to manage using them so their focus isn't taken off the road and what's around them. At the moment, a new driver could use a sat nav without any training or testing, which is why it can be more dangerous.

      Link to this comment
  23. Peter McIver

    As a large vehicle driver the total disregard for Rule 259 among some drivers is worrying. Perhaps some instruction on this particular aspect of motorway and dual carriageway driving would be beneficial.

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  24. Dave Crossland

    I have been an instructor for nearly 30 years and I am looking forward to the challenges that will come with the new test. Have any of the people who have slated it actually tried showing pupils the differences to the current test. What's the saying "try before you buy. I say try before you knock it".

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    • Carol Gledhill

      I am glad you are but I teach the deaf to drive and this is totally not good for my students so for the student without disabilities it's a challenge you can imagine not helpful for mine. Some compulsory follow up after test I would prefer so the standards of driving do not drop back once passed.

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  25. Christine Sargeant

    I have been a driving instructor for 12years now and all the pupils that i have got have all said they don't like using a sat-nav. If you want to do something which is against the rules in the highway code then learn the pupils how to do a U-turn. I thought that bringing out the use of sat-nav is to get pupils to go along some rural roads then the examiners should be used to there own surroundings as the 2 test centre's that i take my pupils to have got rural roads near them. If the right reverse comes into the test that will mean that they will still have to find a quiet road to do this on. The best manoeuvre for all the pupils to do is the reverse park and not on a quiet road. I also think that it could quite easily distract some pupils as not all of them can multitask.

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    • Mohammad Zulfiqar

      I would suggest there should be two final tests for new drivers with about 2 months gap .This will give them more confidence and will learn more carefully for the points raised by the examinor in first test.

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  26. MEL

    I have been an ADI for 27 years and I think driving into and reversing out of a parking bay could be a good addition to the test, but pulling up on the opposite side of the road and moving off again from behind a parked vehicle against the traffic flow is a dangerous manoeuvre, and teaching future drivers that this is a good idea is only going to cause more accidents in the future. As for using a sat nav on test I'm lost for words, I've always tought my pupils to concentrate on keeping their eyes on the road and not inside the car.the biggest cause of danger on the UK roads is attitude, and that is not just the young. learning to use a sat nav will not make a scrap of difference please please rethink.

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    • John (DVSA)

      Hi Mel

      As Lesley explains, some driving test candidates will still be asked to follow road signs. It's also really important to recognise that 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.

      We know that sat navs can be a distraction. That's why it's important that new drivers are trained to manage using them so their focus isn't taken off the road and what's around them. At the moment, a new driver could use a sat nav without any training or testing, which is why it can be more dangerous.

      Link to this comment
  27. James Johns

    What about adding how to change a tyre in the fast lane on the motorway. I think that is a vital component.

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    • FRANCIS BECK

      As changing a wheel on the motorway is illegal it would presumably be doubly difficult on a non-existent fast lane. Unless of course this was a wind up in which case I am the only one to have taken the bait.

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  28. James

    I actually think the driving test is quite good as it is at the moment.
    It covers all that is required of a test candidate to prove to the examiner, in the half hour on the road and in a controlled environment, that they are safe on the road and can handle the vehicle reasonably well.
    The problem arises when some of the new drivers are no longer under the control of the ADI or examiner. No matter how well they have been trained or how well they have passed test they will do as they want no matter how wrong it is.
    However the driving test will always be flawed as long as so many disciplines are omitted.
    Motorways by law. Rural roads ( the most dangerous roads to drive ), fast dual carriageways, multi lane roundabouts and junctions, etc because of location. Night driving ( another of the biggest problems for new drivers) becuse of time. Even parking bay is not covered at some test centres if they do not have the facility.
    How do we sort those problems?
    I do like some of the proposed ideas however, longer independent drive though I would prefer it to follow road signs rather than sat nav. Show me question on the move is good too, I would ask several throughout the test. Open window, switch headlights on, wash windscreen etc, I think this would be more like real driving situations and benefit the student in their future driving.
    Overall tweaking the test is okay but don't put too much emphasis on the sat nav. There are greater problems to solve here.

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  29. FRANCIS BECK

    Using a mobile phone whilst driving was both distracting and dangerous , so did they make its use part of the test ? Of course not. They sensibly made it illegal . The same should be applied to the ludicrous idea of incorporating the use of a sat nav. Listen to the common sense views of the experts i.e.A.D.I's

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    • John (DVSA)

      As Lesley explains, some driving test candidates will still be asked to follow road signs. It's also really important to recognise that 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.

      We know that sat navs can be a distraction. That's why it's important that new drivers are trained to manage using them so their focus isn't taken off the road and what's around them. 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: https://www.gov.uk/dvsa/driving-standards

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  30. Joele

    What happens when they've passed their test never driven at 60 as they haven't needed to, then venture out onto a motorway using a sat nav? Never driven at Sixty or on a motorway or used a sat nav. It's exactly the same as using a phone whilst driving when attempting to re route a non built in sat nav. Yes you should pull over but then it's stressful rejoining a motorway from a lay by especially for a newbie. They should be taught to drive at 60, use a sat nav and everything else normally taught. Then once you pass your test instead of opting to do pass plus you should be automatically given a half hour lesson on slip roads and what a safe stopping distance looks like then you get half an hour to do the same and return back to the test centre.

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  31. ADI for many years

    Taking away the skills of controlling the car and observation on reversing and other manoeuvres will cause accidents. Concentrating on just basic driving using satnav is just compounding on existing fast driving of other drivers. A monkey can follow a satnav but skills are needed for control and observation of signs where drivers don't have access to satnav. Very stupid idea to change test. Probably they have nothing else to do but to introduce a new test with no benefit to anyone.

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  32. Nigel Benson

    Who is going to supply the sat navs dvsa I hope and pre programmed. I've tried using sat nav with my in car one it's difficult to structure your lessons around this method as it will take you on roads you would never use to get around places thus making it difficult to plan your lessons around. . I've not had many who find it difficult but you're always going to have the odd one who will always ask where to even if you tell them twice. This is where I believe that accidents could happen. As for reversing around a corner on the right it's a no no.i like my alloys and it's difficult enough to stop anyone crunching the kerb as it is without doing on your blind side. I do find it hard if a person can't do a manoeuvre perfectly but drives lovely that a fail follows how many people when they pass use the same method you teach in the car they get not many as it's a working practice and one which they will perfect in their own way That's just a couple of points I could go on but until I personally have done one under instruction will reserve my judgement.

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    • John (DVSA)

      Hi Nigel.

      DVSA will supply the sat nav for the driving test, which will have pre-programmed routes in it.

      Link to this comment
  33. David

    All learners need a minimum a mount of hrs as that will stop the eagerness of leaners and instructors to get through as quick as possible.which will reduce the competiveness between pupils also parents or goverment should have a say in what power car they can drive in first year of passing. as an instructor i frequently see passed pupils driving expensive and powerful cars which in my opinion leads to showing off

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  34. Fiona guan

    I have been learning drive with my husband for a quite long time, and I hate sat nav, especially when the sat nav dont konw where its leading me to. Main reason for people to fail their test is the nerves, having a sat nav used in the test is definitely not gonna help pupils to ease their nerves. Asking a show me tell me question while driving is distracting, I would check my vehicle before I set off not during my driving, not sure who came up with proposal perhaps he want to make people more nervous when they already are! Bay parking is definitely need to be swapped with one of the existing maneuvers as it is just so practical in real life, and it is not being teached in lessons u less the test center has many bays available. There are so many drivers on the road doing dangerous things and sometimes people fail their test because other people's stuipd acts, existing drivers definitely need to be tested every number of years rather than make test harder for the people who looking forward to have a car!!

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    • John (DVSA)

      Hi Fiona

      We don't want to make driving test candidates more nervous, but it's important that the driving test makes sure that they can drive safely.

      We know that sat navs can be a distraction. That's why it's important that new drivers are trained to manage using them so their focus isn't taken off the road and what's around them. At the moment, a new driver could use a sat nav without any training or testing, which is why it can be more dangerous.

      Asking a safety question while driving, for example, operating the rear heated screen, is exactly the sort of thing that you'll need to do while driving when you've passed the test. That's why it's important that you're trained to be able to do it safely.

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  35. Rod Stephens

    As an experienced truck driver, I despair at the state of drivers today.
    Drivers will cut across from the fastest lane on a motorway onto the exit slip road, barge onto motorways regardless of passing traffic, cut across from both sides on roundabouts, fail to stop at traffic lights, twiddle with sat navs and phones while driving and generally create havoc.
    There needs to be a recognition that the "bubble" on the inside of your car is not the whole world, the drivers' main obligation is to other road users!
    Sat navs are not an aid, they are a distraction and especially so for inexperienced drivers.

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  36. David soper

    I do believe that the test should be updated to bring it in line with the modern way of driving ,dealing with everyday situations such as using sat navs.

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    • Paul Lawrence

      The whole driver training process needs updating. The theory test and a proper eye test should really form part of the process of obtaining your provisional licence and not done, as it can now be done the day before you do your practical test. In reality how it is now done is in reality irresponsible on the part of government and the DVSA. My test was done this way over 25 years ago, and it makes sense proving you know the rules and can see well enough not to endanger others.

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  37. Norman Smith

    Norman Smith ADI for 26 years. Driver attitude after passing the test is the key to situation of reducing road deaths and injury, so why are the powers that be making the test more technical e.g the sat nav . A successful test means that the new driver is allowed to drive without a qualified driver. That is all . The full licence experience begins then. Pass plus or alternative should be mandatory along with re-testing .

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  38. Josephine Parish

    I am a motorcyclist and a van driver. I do not use a satnav. Being a motorcyclist has trained me to be extremely alert to what is happening on the road. In my experience:
    • the use of satnav reduces a drivers awareness. Mirrors are not observed as frequently as they should be and actions taken following the satnav's instruction without checking mirrors, or if they do, judging incorrectly. Perhaps there are too many distractions in vehicles; arguing children, music, satnav, chatting to passengers, or just thinking about other things etc., car drivers should be made aware of the danger of these distractions and the impact of not concentrating fully on the road. Ideally in my opinion, all potential new drivers should ride a motorbike so they can feel the vulnerability and have a direct feel of being a road user without the feeling of being cocooned somewhat detached from the road users around them. Perhaps there could be a computer interactive programme developed which would help drivers understand and feel the vulnerability they should feel while on the road which would have the impact on them taking their driving more seriously. As a motorcyclist, I physically change my mindset everytime I ride or drive to focus on the one thing at hand: driving. As a motorcyclist going through traffic 50% of cars (if not more ) are distracted on their mobiles. Very few use their mirrors unless about to do a manoeuvre. Checking their satnav seems more important than checking what is actually around them.

    I would say increasing awareness of the road conditions are your priority and the use of sat nav should only be for the passenger/navigator to attend to.

    Teaching lane discipline and judging of speed of other vehicles are important for dual carriageway/motorway use.

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  39. R Chamberlain

    The sat nav is an audio visual driving aid that tells us the best way from A to B. Yhe visual side of this device gives us a layout of the road ahead, what it doesn't tell us about is the pedestrian that's just about to step into the road or the cyclist swerving to avoid the manhole cover or any other of the myriad of hazards we face as drivers on today's roads.

    I am 56 yrs old and have driven for a living since getting my licence at 17 yrs old. At 23 yrs I took my LGV 1 and drove these nationwide til I qualified as an ADI at 40yrs old.

    I have never used a sat nav and I am not a Luddite. Sat navs do have a place but maybe not coupled to novice drivers.

    Technically you could cover the screen with making tape and just listen to the audio ( correct me if I'm wrong ) Are we not just placing more in car visual distractions for what are inexperienced drivers.

    How many times as instructors do we have to make a grab for the wheel when pupils take too long checking mirrors to change lanes etc. The ability to look, decide and hold a course varies from pupil to pupil. This ability develops with experience. Post test the solo novice driver has no one taking control whilst they're busy looking at the sat nav.

    In my opinion the promotion of the use of sat nav by inexperienced drivers is a backward step. It's not a case of if but when there's a fatality caused by this distraction. Clipping the kerb and mounting the pavement, wandering into oncoming traffic or hitting the pothole dodging cyclist while looking at a device that only shows a layout of the road ahead which can clearly be seen through the windscreen.

    I fully embraced the last changes to the test ie independent driving and less emphasis on the manoeuvres. Indeed I've always taught this in my 16 years as an ADI.

    We all strive to improve road safety but in my opinion tinkering with the practical test will not improve things. It doesn't change attitude. The real answers lie elsewhere. Maybe a graduated licence.

    How many people making these decisions have ever trained young drivers ?

    Link to this comment
    • John (DVSA)

      Hi

      As Lesley explains, some driving test candidates will still be asked to follow road signs. It's also really important to recognise that 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.

      We know that sat navs can be a distraction. That's why it's important that new drivers are trained to manage using them so their focus isn't taken off the road and what's around them. At the moment, a new driver could use a sat nav without any training or testing, which is why it can be more dangerous.

      Link to this comment
      • R Chamberlain

        Thanks for your reply John but in your last paragraph you agree there,is increased risk of distraction with use of sat nav, so why should you as an organisation promote it ?
        I deal,with distractions every day and see first hand the potential problems this will create.
        I'm sure some drivers are ok using sat nav and have the ability to multitask but in my experience they are in a minority.

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        • John (DVSA)

          Hi R

          There's an increased risk of distraction if drivers haven't been trained to use them safely.

          We want to make sure that new drivers have had the benefit of training from road safety professional, so they know how to use it safely, and manage the risks that go with it.

          52% of car drivers had a sat nav in 2014 - that was up from 33% in 2009. As more people are using these devices, we want new drivers to be trained to meet the standard to use them safely, so that they don't get distracted by them.

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          • Jim

            Surely the point. you have been trying to justify with the new test, the point of asking a pupil to do a show me tell me question on the move/ use a satnav on the move, is that they can be distracted by them and still be able to drive safely.

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    • Paul Lawrence

      Very valid points.

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    • J. Weston

      To my mind, this contribution uses a word which is of extreme importance. That is ATTITUDE. So often the "me first" attitude is responsible for poor driving behaviour, such as following far too close to allow stopping in an emergency, overtaking on roundabouts etc. Not much mention of this word appears in the many contributions here.

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  40. Chris

    Has anything been looked into introducing the Motorcycle style staged qualification for instance either limit the engine size of a car on new drivers under 25 or maybe limiting them to driving a automatic?

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    • Abigail (DVSA)

      Hi Chris,

      The government is focusing its efforts on encouraging learner drivers to do more practice in a wider range of driving conditions. Reviewing the driving test to ensure that it assesses the skills needed for today’s roads and vehicles and those of the future, and identify the most promising behavioural, educational and technological interventions that can reduce young driver casualties.

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  41. Brian

    It is very obvious that the newly passed drivers of to day, do-not fully take in , What is a speed limit
    is when the sign reads 30 MPH and they carry on at 50
    or the white line on the road with an arrow showing left but the driver uses it and drives straight on
    just two of the mister miners by new drivers but i could go on & on

    I have been driving for 55 years and drivers now today have no respect for other road users
    especial boy/girl racers and 4X4 woman drivers Big car no sense
    !!! yes I'm old but i want to live a lot longer !!!! Please

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  42. Steve Feldon

    My undertstanding is that an examiner issues a pass certificate when a candidate demonstrates they can drive with a relatively good level of competence combined with a high level of safety. This is adequately tested with the current method so surely, learning to use Sat Nav, Blue Tooth, Sound Systems and any other toys the car is equipped with should be learnt post test. May be a course could be set up and made compulsory. It could be called something like “Pass Plus” and could incorporate Motorway training.
    With regards to pulling over on the right and moving off against the flow of traffic I can see many problems, notwithstanding that the highway code says we shouldn’t do it.
    Say for example, 1st accident where pupil fails to see oncoming vehicle and pulls out resulting in collision involving fatalities, most likely to be the examiner or passenger of oncoming vehicle.
    There will be questions asked about driving against the advice offered in the highway code and also the duty of care towards the examiner.
    And finally. Using public car parks for new bay park exercise will be welcomed by owners of said car parks as it always has been. “YOU CAN’T PRACTICE IN HERE MATE”.
    If we can’t teach it, our students can’t learn it and in my opinion the first candidate to fail on this will have grounds to appeal against decision.
    May be re educating drivers who have been license holders for ex number of years should be focussed upon rather than trying to teach new drivers how to do it badly in line with the Rat Race traffic of today

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  43. Kamel Elkomaty

    Having read many of the above feedbacks from my colleagues, it has become apparent that a large number of instructors demonstrate constructive criticism to the introduction of a Sat Nav. I fully support their concern and would like to take the liberty to add my voice to theirs.
    When we are teach a learner how to become a good, responsible and a safe driver, we emphasise the importance of precaution and awareness in addition to anticipation, We then slightly drift from the main focus of preparing and equipping the new breed of drivers to getting them to operate the Sat Nav during their practical test.
    What has not been mentioned is, it should be a condition that all learner drivers must have some practice with operating the Sat Nav with their instructor prior to taking the practical test.
    Furthermore, a learner who has reached test standard should be able to navigate their car indepently without the need of this practice.
    It concerns me that in the not too distant future some other elements might be introduced to the driving test which could have no significance to the development and upgrading of driving tests.

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  44. Mike p

    I'm an adi and also a van driver who relies on sat navs when I'm multi dropping. I don't agree that this change in the test is going to make a blind bit of difference to road safety. using a sat nav properly means both using your ears and eyes. A lot of multi drop drivers turn the sound off on there devices and purely use the screen . You need to be experienced to do this. To get a learner to do this is going to cause more danger for them and other road users. As other posts have said a compulsory pass plus which could involve sat nav use would be a much better option.

    The test as it stands at the moment involves to much luck on the day. This new test does not change this. The test should be longer and much more comprehensive. With the examiner allowed to use some commonsence.

    How many times have adis seen one pupil pass with double figure minor faults whilst others fail with 1 serious an 0 1 or 2 minors. Whose the better driver.

    Mike

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  45. FRANCIS BECK

    This consultation is a great way of letting off steam and giving your opinions an airing but as the overwhelming majority of entries are against these changes , will this have any effect on the decision of the powers that be ? Now call me a cynic but..............

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    • John (DVSA)

      Hi Francis

      We'll get another report about the trial of the new test later this year. That report will tell us whether candidates who took the new test had more, fewer or the same number of collisions as those taking the current test.

      We'll take that report and all the responses to the consultation into account before making a final decision on whether to proceed with the new test.

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  46. Roger Marsh

    Reading through all these comments regarding the proposed changes, and the response from John (DVSA) , it makes me wonder why we as ADI's are asked to participate and give comments as John seems to have an answer for all the responses and reasons for making the changes to the driving test, frequently quoting what Lesley says! I cannot speak for all the other ADI's on here, but i am sure, many are as experienced as i am in driving. I have been driving for 45 years, in cars, coaches, and on motorcycles, I have never had any points, and no accidents in any vehicle! I am also a grade A instructor. I totally fail to see how these changes will make any pupil with limited hours on the road a far safer driver, just because a organization says it will improve road safety! To be honest, I have not tallied up the number, but i guess scrolling through the the comments from the ADI's on this site, there must be 300 years of driving experience! Surely we cant all be wrong! after all this feedback, of course the changes will still take place.

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    • John (DVSA)

      Hi Roger

      We’re responding to comments to make sure that everyone knows the reasons why these are the changes that have been proposed.

      We want as many people as possible to go to https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-the-car-driving-test and answer the consultation questions.

      We'll get another report about the trial of the new test later this year. That report will tell us whether candidates who took the new test had more, fewer or the same number of collisions as those taking the current test.

      We'll take that report and all the responses to the consultation into account before making a final decision on whether to proceed with the new test.

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  47. Helen Cleaver

    All Registered Driving Instructors should have been given the chance to give opinions on the way forward for the new Driving Test. A questionaire could have been sent out to all Registered Driving Instructors before any new proposals were to be made.
    I agree with many of the comments that have been made. Personally I would like to see potential learners take the Theory and Hazard test BEFORE they even go out on any public roads.
    At least they will at have some knowledge of road signs and road markings before they embark on our roads.
    The test itself should be longer and still incorporate Two manoeuvres, these are skills to show good control of the car, not about accuracy. City and Rural driving should be covered before the test. Driving in the dark should be covered on lessons if possible and if not, should be included in the" Show me Tell me" part of the test
    The Driving Instructor should present a pupils record of driving , including weather conditions and hours of tuition.
    The test paper itself should lessen the number of Minor marks, 15 is way too many! If a pupil of mine had 15 minor mistakes in 40 minutes , I wouldn't want to see them on the road.
    As Driving Instructor's we have regular assessments to prove we are still capable of teaching "Safer Driving For Life" , But as we all know it's AFTER the test that needs to be a concern.
    New drivers should be made to display P plates for 6 months. This gives all road users a little more information and awareness. Also I think there should be an engine size limit for the two probationary years following the test.
    If a new driver get any points for speeding in the first two years, they should be made to take a speed awareness course and pay for it themselves.
    Pass Plus should be mandatory for any new driver wishing to drive on a Motorway within the first two years and Sat Nav should be included in the Pass Plus if it is incorporated into their own car.
    Any New driver after passing the test will automatically be nervous about driving in their own, but they need to be aware of the danger of passengers and distractions once they are on the road.
    We can teach Safe Driving skills to a pupil, but after the test its the responsibility of the driver that needs to be addressed.
    The authorities need to take tougher action on drivers who flout the law and have no regard for other road users.

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    • Roger Marsh

      Helen is quite right, far tougher penalties for any new driver who breaks the law or drives dangerously. The DVSA needs to assist in changing attitudes of the young drivers.

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  48. FRANCIS BECK

    Has it occurred to anyone on here that John {DVSA} may not actually exist? After reading the stock replies I have a sneaking suspicion that he is actually a highly sophisticated and advanced SAT NAV, pre- programmed by the DVSA to begin nearly every entry with the words 'Hi there, as Lesley says' Sorry John , couldn't resist it. Still, gives the moderators something to do.

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    • John (DVSA)

      Hi Francis

      I've just double-checked, and I'm definitely real. I wasn't expecting such a philosophical dilemma today! 😉

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  49. Richard Vivash ADI

    If Sat Navs are introduced to the Practical test then clearly our voices haven't been listened to. The test does need changing to reflect evolving attitudes on the road but there should be a focus on monitoring the pupil after the test. Re-testing will improve road safety, create jobs and generate revenue. We should also re-test every other driver on the road. How can you pass a test at 17 and never be tested on your ability ever again....that's insane. We have an opportunity to be world leaders in road safety and remind people that driving a car is a privilege and not a right.
    I chose to become an ADI because I thought I could make a change....now I feel like I'm being asked to do something that isn't going to change anything.

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  50. Ronnie Gilligan

    There's a lot of comments on the sat navs, and to be honest I think that it is a good idea to learn how to use one properly on the independent drive part of the test. But I do not agree with the manoeuvre changes. To go against advice in the Highway code and teach parking on the right hand side of the road just "because that's what people are doing" or to "reflect modern day driving" is ridiculous. Do you know anyone who does this then reverses for two car lengths before driving off again? No, the reverse part was only added to comply with the legal aspect of requiring a reverse move on a driving test. If it is to genuinely to reflect modern day driving ( "if people are going to do it anyway we should teach them how to do it safely" is another sound bite being used) and teach it just because people are doing it and ignoring the highway code there is a massive list we should be looking at ... where do we start? how to park across a junction? on double yellow lines? Undertake? Straightline roundabouts? Run a red light? A growing number of companies who have car parks are now insisting that their employees REVERSE INTO the spaces because of the number of accidents they're having with people reversing out. It's agreed that parking on the right and driving forwards into a parking bay is "Not best practice and has a higher risk" so that seems a good reason to include both in a driving test? The turn in the road is a good manoeuvre to learn because it does teach you to control the car in tight spaces and give you skills that can be used in other cicumstances. With that and the reverse bay park you could do without the Left reverse into a side road. I may be wrong but It would appear that the powers that be have already made up their minds and that this consultation is more of a PR excercise. Just to finish, the bay park (forwards) will not be carried out in between other cars and the park on the right then reverse before rejoining traffic will be done on a quiet road with no similar parked cars nearby, so both pretty pointless as well as higher risk and not best practice

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    • John (DVSA)

      Hi Ronnie

      If you haven't already, please do go to https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-the-car-driving-test and answer the consultation questions.

      As you may have seen, we haven't yet had a final report on the trial of the new test. We'll get it later this year. That report will tell us whether candidates who took the new test had more, fewer or the same number of collisions as those taking the current test.

      We'll take that report and all the responses to the consultation into account before making a final decision on whether to proceed with the new test.

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  51. Bill Gladman

    Sat Nav.ok but pulling up on the opposite side of the road and moving off again is simply dangerous. I've just spent 20 years teaching people to go further up the road, make a safe turn ,and come back again.We should not be encouraging dangerous manoeuvres.

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  52. Mary Whaite

    I'm worried that quite a few driving instructors seem to not want to teach people all the skills they need to drive safely.

    When I come to help my children pick a driving instructor, I'll make sure it's not one who seems dead against teaching them how to use a sat nav safely.

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