Skip to main content

This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

How we’re planning to encourage learner drivers to broaden their experience

Red learner driver car on road

The government’s road safety action plan was published earlier today (19 July 2019). It sets out 74 actions the government is taking to reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads.

The statement sets out that DVSA will support this by carrying out a new campaign, to encourage learner drivers to spend more time practising in different driving conditions.

I want to explain more about why we think this campaign is important, what we want to achieve, and how we want to work with you - the driver training industry - to do this.

What we’re aiming to do

We want to increase the amount of practice learners have in the areas where they face the biggest risk once they’ve passed their test.

The 3 areas we’re going to focus on are:

  • driving on country roads
  • driving independently
  • driving in the dark

We know you’re already working incredibly hard each day to teach your pupils the skills they need.

We want to go further with the support we give you. We want to help make sure your pupils (and their parents) understand the importance of being prepared for a lifetime of safe driving - not just passing the driving test.

Why we’re focusing on these 3 areas

The important work you do already means that we have some of the safest roads in the world.

But with 1 in 5 newly qualified drivers being involved in a collision within their first year of driving, it’s vital we continue to find new ways to better prepare new drivers for driving safely on their own.

To identify 3 main areas where learner drivers’ knowledge, skills and experience could be improved, we’ve looked at data from the:

Driving on country roads

Photo showing a country road with hills in the background

10,729 people were killed or seriously injured in accidents reported to police on country roads in Great Britain in 2017. This is 10 times higher than the number of people killed or seriously injured on motorways.

However, our research shows 19.4% of learner drivers said they'd spent less than 2 hours practising on country roads.

Another 10.3% said they’d never practised on country roads.

In total, 70.3% of learner drivers said they'd spent 2 or more hours practising on country roads before they took their test. We want to increase this to to 74.3% by 30 September 2020.

Driving independently

Photo of a road sign showing the layout of the magic roundabout

New drivers find ‘independent driving’ training really valuable. They can relate to it - they feel it's a closer reflection of what driving will be like after passing their test.

Since December 2017, the ‘independent driving’ part includes the use of sat nav. Our research shows 86.3% of learners use sat nav at least some of the time after passing their test.

But some newly qualified drivers told us they still do not feel confident driving alone after passing their test. They still feel like they need the reassurance of their instructor being sat next to them.

So it's important that candidates spend more time practising - including using sat navs and road signs - to improve their independent driving skills and experience, so they're ready for driving on their own - including on unfamiliar roads.

In total, 55.3% of learner drivers said they'd spent more than 4 hours driving independently before they took their test. We want to increase this by 30 September 2020.

Before we set a target for this, we want to find out what learners understand by the term 'independent driving', as we think some may not understand it fully - so the percentage could be higher than our results show.

Driving in the dark

Photo showing traffic stopped at traffic lights at night

Drivers who do not have much experience of night-time driving are more likely to be involved in collisions at night. However, our research shows that 17% of learners said they'd never practised driving in the dark.

We know having driving lessons in the dark may not always be possible - particularly depending on the time of year lessons are taking place.

But many of the worst collisions happen at night. Between midnight and 6am is a time of high risk for new drivers.

It's important that learner drivers practise driving at night when their visibility is reduced and it's harder to judge speed and distance.

In total, 82.5% of learner drivers said they'd spent some time practising driving in the dark before they took their test. We want to increase this to 91.5% by 30 September 2020.

Starting the conversation with you

Learner driver at the wheel

To achieve these objectives, we need to work really closely with you and the rest of the driver training industry.

We need your experience and insight to find out the barriers you face when trying to encourage your pupils (and their parents) to take the right amount of practice.

When we know this, we can start to help you and your pupils with the right support and advice. That could be us getting better at setting expectations for learners and their parents about what's involved in learning to drive, through to giving you improved tools to monitor your pupils' progress.

We’ll send you a survey over the summer to get your thoughts and ideas. When you get it, please fill it in. Your input and experience is absolutely vital. We cannot do this without you.

And of course, you can leave your ideas about how we can work together to get learners to take more practice in these 3 areas in the comments.

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by David Gardner posted on

    I would say the biggest problem by far is peer pressure from learner drivers friends, boasting how it only took them a few hours to pass and how bad you must be if takes more, and also parents making statements like " it only took my husband 10 hours to learn, why are you suggesting 40-60 hours?"
    It seems nobody understands how dangerous driving really is.

    • Replies to David Gardner>

      Comment by Linda Frost posted on

      I totally agree David. Driving is a privilege not a right! So many times do you hear this from parents who look to seek the minimum hours because they only took so many. They seem to forget how the volume of traffic has changed since they learned. I mean why wouldn't you want your kids to be safe on our roads today, I know I certainly would with mine!

    • Replies to David Gardner>

      Comment by BASHIR TAHIR posted on

      Yes it’s true but also some learn only in 20 hours and if you keep teaching they get bored so If the ready for test we should encourage them.
      Other reality life style becomes very busy and every one wants to pass as quick as possible.
      We should make Pass plus compulsory for everyone
      May add few more hours

      • Replies to BASHIR TAHIR>

        Comment by ken posted on

        20 HOURS !!! Nobody has enough experience to drive alone after only 20 hours. They must be learning test routes not how to drive independently.People who start new jobs using some sort of machine ie sewing machines etc won't be left alone to get on with it after two and half days training.

      • Replies to BASHIR TAHIR>

        Comment by Andrew posted on

        They may well "learn" in 20hours but their confidence if you feel like they are getting bored is significantly out of sync with their experience. This takes more than 20hrs and an engaging instructor to make them realise that 20hours is no where near enough to create a safe driver. There is no substitute for experience.

      • Replies to BASHIR TAHIR>

        Comment by Mike Aindow posted on

        I hope you are not an ADI making comments about people being ready and push them into a test just to "Pass" experience on the roads is not something that is taught it is only time practicing that gives this. Your comments are totally unsafe if we are to make sure we are putting people on the roads with a clear conscience that we have helped as much as possible to make them as safe as possible.

      • Replies to BASHIR TAHIR>

        Comment by Barry Kenward posted on

        Bashir - IF you are suggesting that someone can drive safely for the rest of their lives after 20 hours tuition they are deluded as is anyone who suggests that to be the case, when starting from scratch... Its NOT about being test ready!

        IF they are bored after such a short time of learning, then the lessons they are taking are not structured sufficiently well enough to challenge them.. After just 20 hours, my question would be, what is being left out ?? You say if they are bored and test ready (Which I have grave reservations about and would challenge anyone teaching from scratch that a pupil will be ready for test in 20 hours and be successful) then you should encourage them? My thoughts are you would be encouraging them with false hopes and potentially to be come a statistic..

      • Replies to BASHIR TAHIR>

        Comment by BASHIR TAHIR posted on

        I may not explain fully. I know how many hours it’s take to become a good driver.
        I myself learn new thing everyday and never thought I don’t need anything else to practice or study.
        My attention was to have something compulsory after the passing the test.
        Let’s focus on what the question is rather then getting into to debate.

        My focus was these 3 questions
        (The 3 areas we’re going to focus on are:
        1–driving on country roads
        2–driving independently
        3–driving in the dark)

        So if you giving 60 hours training or more and they pass their test and what is your experience when you do pass plus or they taken lesson on their own car.
        Do they learn in a same way or their understanding ability is different

      • Replies to BASHIR TAHIR>

        Comment by Adrian Turner posted on

        Bashir Tahir
        Your sentiments are the reason I am leaving the trade after 30 years. Too many people try to learn on the cheap encouraged by instructors who teach on the cheap.
        A driving licence is not a right, it has to be earned and coveted. The DVSA ideas are laudable but rely on the goodwill of ADIs to work unsocial hours which impact on their family life. I ask those making the suggestions if they would work late into the evening at the same rate of pay? Country lanes also are undeniably important does DVSA promote a higher lesson rate for these due to the extra mileage? After all, as Civil Servants they receive 45 pence per mile when they drive plus their hourly rate.
        I applaud any method of improving driving standards of new drivers but to do so we really need a completely new system of training with modules to be completed and realistic pricing.
        At £30 per hour the average ADI will only actually earn about £15 if there are no unexpected costs ask yourself why we keep on doing it, in my case because I enjoyed giving the service and seeing the benefit to others. I even offered free motorway lessons to those who passed less than 1 in 10 accepted. That is the problem once passed people don't bother to keep up training.
        Why not introduce a second test on country roads and motorways between 6 months and 2 years after passing the test? That will ensure new drivers continue to drive safer for the initial danger period.

    • Replies to David Gardner>

      Comment by stephanie eleftheriou posted on

      It's not just the young drivers it's the older generation too. I drive daily on the motorway and its shocking how many trucks are overtaking cars that are in the left lane. Or plod along in the 2nd 3rd and 4th lanes totally oblivious to what is going on around them. Normal roads they dont know how to use a roundabout or keep with the flow of the traffic so they also cause accidents .

    • Replies to David Gardner>

      Comment by June Burley posted on

      Hi David I totally agree with your comments .
      I hate feeling like I have to rush through my syllabus so as to please the family .
      I always cover the syllabus whether pupils like it or not now.
      Also I believe the speed limit on a windy country lane should be reduced to 40 mph and all recently passed students should have a black box fitted for one year and if they have behaved then after one year it can be removed .
      If not then it stays in till they can
      From June

    • Replies to David Gardner>

      Comment by Kevin Smith posted on

      Great comment David. I totally agree and constantly find this a severe obstacle with a lot of people wanting to learn to drive. Until we change people's mindsets and even make a statutory minimum amount of lessons as standard which someone needs to take before they are ready to take the Test then I fear nothing will ever change I'm afraid. But as a Grade A Driving Instructor I will NOT bow to pressure and thankfully I have loads of work from people who do still want it done fully and properly ! There are still people out there that want a high end of quality too.???

    • Replies to David Gardner>

      Comment by Graham Longhurst posted on

      Morning, not sure how to post a new message on this so replying to this one.
      I often get learners that are aged 20,30 or, at least older than 17-19 who had a few lessons at 17-19. They normally are able to pick it up quicker than a brand new driver. My point is that having had a little experience at a younger age helps them. Let’s call it muscle memory.
      IMHO, I would suggest introducing Learning to drive into the school curriculum, it would be a great idea.
      Pupils would have to earn the privilege of these lessons. They don’t have to be OTR and could utilise old plots of land. Maybe it’s something the government should look at. I’ve briefly touched on it here. Any thoughts .

  2. Comment by Mark Coyle posted on

    Until the government recognise a minimum requirement of a course of minimum hours there’s always going to be young drivers passing in too few a number of driving hours these are the more vulnerable young drivers more at risk
    Drivers who acknowledge they need to be driving to a higher standard to pass the test take more training /practice and become safer drivers for life

    It’s also high time the DL 25 allowed no more than 5 driving faults to obtain a pass

    • Replies to Mark Coyle>

      Comment by S PEARCE posted on

      5 Driver Faults - are you serious! That is the same standard that an ADI is required to meet. 9 faults for a Taxi Test. Minimum hours is not the way to go - one minute we say that everyone is different and that you now want to put them under one umbrella and enforce minimum hours. So many flaws in this statement.. Sorry

  3. Comment by Peter Mulholland-kohli posted on

    Its hard work convincing students that its getting more experience that helps them become better and safer drivers.once they convince themselves they can stop and go and give way then they are test ready..if the minimum is 60 hours before test then there is time to encounter more varied and complex scenarios again and again..

  4. Comment by Richard posted on

    GDE level 4 needs to be taught more by Adi’s so that learners can think for themselves when they pass . And DVSA are just letting people through to becoming Adi’s . I interview so many and they have not got a clue how to teach . An approved Adi should sit in every part 2 and 3 to make sure we get no more bad Adi’s through .

    • Replies to Richard>

      Comment by Tracey posted on

      Many ADI’s will have not heard of the GDE and those that have focus on the levels and forget the columns. Independent safe drivers are educated on how to drive safely not taught and at the end of each training session instructors need to reflect and ask who was the driving force behind that session the instructor or the pupil. Too often instructors have a script on how people should learn and the lesson is the same for everyone. Less minors on test would that really reduce crashes? Passplus compulory? Too many instructors teach exactly same on pass plus hence no crash reduction. The biggest change needs to be instructor training most ADI’s are trying to do their very best but they are focusing far too much on learning to drive and not enough on now you have the basics as you develop how will you (the learner) impact on the diving task at different times when could this task be dangerous for you - country roads, late nights aren’t dangerous the person driving those roads is the danger even the nicest of people but why? That is where the critical education comes into play I would go so far as to say yes they need to be able to drive on such roads and in the dark but the education around how these areas become dangerous for a student could be delivered in a classroom

  5. Comment by Tony Woodall posted on

    Pass plus should be mandatory.
    Professional training after passing the car test should be part of the graduated licences.

    • Replies to Tony Woodall>

      Comment by Martin Fletcher posted on

      Yes, Yes, Yes. We NEED a graduated licence system which allows new drivers to ease into driving. Perhaps a limit on engine size (say 1.2) a limit on the number of passengers (say one) Mandatory pass plus within a year of passing, These are just a few ideas to be going on with. The biggest problem for us, is, everyone thinks they are a great driver and they don't need any more lessons. We are "Just after more money" I often hear people say they only failed because the examiner was in a bad mood, or he had it in for me because of my T shirt/hair/glasses etc etc. The fact they can't drive doesn't enter into it.

      • Replies to Martin Fletcher>

        Comment by Chris Wood posted on

        What happens if they are an 18-19 year old, married with children. Are you say they can’t go out as a family?
        Generally I agree what you are saying due to distractions but on the other hand how can you deprive a family enjoy being together as a family.

    • Replies to Tony Woodall>

      Comment by Jeff Tuck posted on

      Yes I totally agree Tony and have always said this too! The Pass Plus hasn't had the push it so deserves and the DVSA and other instructors have lost touch with it in my opinion and it's not encouraged enough.

    • Replies to Tony Woodall>

      Comment by ken posted on

      Agree totally Pass Plus should be compulsory and examiner asking a highway question or two at end of test then people might read the highway code instead of learning the answers and not having a clue what they mean.

  6. Comment by Mark Coulburn posted on

    Continued training and education is key for me. It's about time all drivers should take the theory test at the same time as renewing their photo card license to prove they are upto date with the current regulations laid down in the highway code and pass the minimum eyesight requirements. As a professional ADI and an HGV driver I am tested every 4 to 5 years to make sure that I am fully competent to continue to drive an HGV vehicle or teach people to drive a car. I am still amazed that you can pass your test at 17 and there's nothing else until you reach 70.

    • Replies to Mark Coulburn>

      Comment by Allan Dixon posted on

      I agree,but come on.. Why not mandatory tests every 3/4 years for all drivers? It would probably half the accident rate in one fell swoop and at the same time raise drivers standards, at the moment you can do almost what you like when you pass the test because there is no follow up.

    • Replies to Mark Coulburn>

      Comment by Mark Dawson posted on

      I do agree that at some point it would be good for this to happen.
      The concerns with this is how would the logistics of testing the mind of people with full licences be managed. Learners have lengthy waiting times already, can you imagine thing to get a test if everyone had to sit a retest every 5 years for example. It would probably take more than 5 years to test the nation in the first place. Therefore that makes this statement unmanageable unless you start it for new drivers from a date in the not so distant future, but I'm sure some would say that's a bit unfair as they've already passed a more advanced test than parents etc.

      • Replies to Mark Dawson>

        Comment by Adrian Turner posted on

        Mandatory retesting won't happen.
        Can you imagine what would happen to the political party who brought this into law?
        They would never get elected again, people would not respond to the road safety element just that they had to learn to drive safely again or lose their licence and job.

  7. Comment by Caroline Rabson posted on

    I agree 5 minor faults should be the maximum no allowed to obtain a “pass” in the driving test

    • Replies to Caroline Rabson>

      Comment by Martin Fletcher posted on

      Yes, that would be a good step forward. Another thing I have always thought would show if people could drive.
      Imagine, you have your test booked for wed 15th at 1.00pm
      They shouldn't tell you what test centre it will be at until 2 days before the test.
      People would say "I don't know Thetford or wherever the test will be.
      I would think, Good, lets see if you can really drive.
      I was teaching a girl to drive and she was getting on quite well. She said. "Can we finish at my boyfriend's house today"
      Yes I said, but you know where he lives so you drive us there.
      We arrived at a roundabout en route which we had never been to on lessons. It was a simple roundabout, similar to all the ones we had been practising on.
      She said in a panicked voice "Which lane do I use here"
      Use the 12 o Clock rule I said
      Oh I don't know I'll use the right lane.
      She didn't have a clue.

  8. Comment by Jeremy Fox DSA ADI posted on

    The first question a potential customer asks is how much do you charge? You wouldn't ask such a question to a solicitor, accountant or dentist. The public treat us as a necessary evil and already think we are ripping them off when we suggest 30 or 40 hours of tuition is needed for most people. They want to know how quickly and cheaply they can do it. When I show them or talk to them about the risks and the statistics they all say they won't drive like that and it won't happen to them. Essentially everyone is in denial, their friends and their relatives think we say these things to enable us to be paid more. It would help to put these statistics were put out on TV so that parents see them.

    • Replies to Jeremy Fox DSA ADI>

      Comment by Jeff Tuck posted on

      Totally agree Jeremy, that's the sad side of things when it comes to road safety, unfortunately others only see it as a money spending hurdle they have to get over! When you put it into perspective spending around £1,000 to learn to drive is a spit in the ocean when you think it's a lifetime skill they'll have for the rest of their life! They wouldn't think twice about spending that amount of money on a holiday or the latest 40' flat screen t.v. or games consoles and gadgets!!

    • Replies to Jeremy Fox DSA ADI>

      Comment by Julie posted on

      Whole heartedly agree with you there. All parents want to know is how cheaply and quickly you can teach them. Also I find sometimes when I ask someone what they would like to do next time they will say 'is there anything else I need to dooffer can I book my test yet?' They seem to think that if they've done something once, no matter how good or bad it was,that they don't have to do it again then they start suggesting cutting lessons down to once a fortnight! The minute you explain why that is a bad idea they lose interest and think you just want their money. Sometimes I feel that you can't win

  9. Comment by Roderick Davidson posted on

    It’s a good idea, but the first port of call is for them to realise that doing all this will take time (lesson hours) to achieve. Too often we hear of my Dad etc. Passed in 10 hours. True or not, that was then, not now.
    ADI’s need to be seen as a professional, which in my eyes means that a minimum number of hours with a qualified ADI/ PDI should be required. It moves us away from “school of mum/dad” and more in line with tradespeople.
    It should be made clear that learning to drive is exciting but it is also a challenge ( more for some than others, granted) and driving can be dangerous. Too many see it as a “right” not a privilege. Where I work I am blessed with country roads of various degrees to get to the DT centre so we do many sessions on these but others may not have easy access to country roads, at least not within an hours lesson.
    Including Mways into lessons is brilliant, mine love it yet not all in all areas will get this.
    Perhaps issued with a provisional licence is a check list of what needs to be covered and a form of statement the client needs to be able to do it on their own without prompts etc. from their Instructors. It is not just number of hours lessons but I believe the miles that the learners do whilst on lessons is important.
    This may go some way to alleviate the “I can do this in 10 hours philosophy” and accept that we are here to help them achieve that without ‘ripping them off’.

  10. Comment by Jessica posted on

    How about when an ADI passes their part 3 the examiner gives them a package including a copy of the report, with a letter of advice to parents and a letter to pupils stating the amount and type of practice they need and tips like 'don't say it took me 10 hours' etc (as per the recommendations in the report) the ADI can copy this and will always have a reference point and reminder themselves to keep up to date with the latest advice. Maybe you could have a supply in test centre waiting rooms for ADI's to take.

  11. Comment by Vince Miner posted on

    Parents are very often too concerned with cost than the safety of their kids. Why is it always "...but i only needed 10 hours to pass". Its never 8, 15, 22 or 1388...its ALWAYS 10. Hate the phrase "my dad says" or "dad said just to give the test a go as it will be good experience even if you fail". Would you want to get on a plane where a Pilot is just "giving it a go"??

    I feel that road safety would be improved if it was illegal for anyone other than a qualified ADI/PDI to give tuition, whether paid or unpaid. "Driving School of Mum & Dad" needs to be closed down. All they do is teach their kids how they drive themselves. Why are we letting those who are UNQUALIFIED to give instruction, train future road users?? Im sure fellow instructors will agree with me when i say that daily we see tuition in private cars, no mirror for supervising driver, supervisor on phone, speed limits ignored, no or poorly positioned L plates, parents OUTSIDE the car while child reverses into parking space, no seat belt.

    Id like to see:
    -minimum hours of professional tuition
    -qualified tuition only
    -reduced number of driving faults to pass
    -multiple faults in same section to result in fail eg: any 3 or more mirror faults is a fail
    -public awareness campaign of the important role we play in training drivers
    -Awareness of average number of hours required
    -maximum of 3 theory attempts within 3 months then a 2 month wait to resit
    -maximum of 3 practical attempts within 6 months then a 2 month wait to resit
    -extend test resit from 10 to 21 days to encourage them to take corrective tuition

  12. Comment by K Jewison posted on

    Great to read this and it is way overdue, but as I read down the list of comments it is clear that most instructors are faced with the same problem from prospective young drivers, how cheap and how quick can i get through the test?
    The 'my dad passed in 10 lessons in the 70's' mindset is firmly established in our society and it is only through education (maybe in schools and college's) that we are going to change it. Lets face it, the 'what if' scenario is never going to happen to them because they think they are better than that, even though the statistics say otherwise. I am all for a minimum number of hours with an approved ADI becoming the law so that these young minds can be educated properly and assessed before taking the test and then followed by licence restrictions and further post test training to help lift standards even further. Compulsory re-testing after 50 or 60 would also help as this would let the parents see what standard is expected of their kids and improve road safety amongst the older generation too.

  13. Comment by Jon Watton posted on

    I would echo the comments above. Unless it becomes mandatory to take a certain number of hours with a professional ADI, I don't see much changing with regards to the attitudes and beliefs of learners & parents. Learning to drive safely is expensive, and although a small proportion of learners understand this, many just want to get through as quickly and cheaply as possible. Although school of Mom and Dad can be useful for extra practice, many are out of touch with how much more difficult the modern driving test is, and don't understand it when we tell them that their child is not yet ready to take the test yet.

  14. Comment by Richard posted on

    My son and daughter where taught by me, their dad about 4 years ago. I sat with them while they practised. They both had about 30 hours driving on the road not sitting in the car just chatting about casualty statistics. It’s MILES they need to cover not hours! Both passed and neither have crashed.

    • Replies to Richard>

      Comment by Maggie posted on

      Professional ADIs do not just sit in the car chatting. They are teaching/coaching and giving them something parents cannot.

    • Replies to Richard>

      Comment by Stu posted on

      Good for you Richard. It’s great when parents actively get involved and that they are now safe drivers. I can see where you’re coming from with your comment about miles not hours, but I’d disagree with miles or hours. It’s experience they need. You can drive for a hundred miles or for a couple of hours and not gain any value from this. Instructors don’t sit at the side of the road chatting, they’re helping the pupil reflect on the experiences they’ve just had so they can log it for future use. We also help them form a strategy to understand and avoid any risks they may have created so that they remain safe or become even safer drivers. That is where our value lies.

      • Replies to Stu>

        Comment by Adrian posted on

        I taught my own children too. But I have been an ADI for 30 years.
        My children drove for over 200 hours before taking a test.
        Including from the Black Country to Yorkshire. Blackpool, Liverpool, Bristol and London. In addition they drove through those cities and many towns on the way. They learnt about signs of driver fatigue and safe following distances, night and country lane driving.
        They also drove with me once a week for the first 2 years after passing their test and got words of advice as appropriate.
        Why? Because they are my children and I want them and future grandchildren to be safe. Some may say it is overkill but for some reason they are always the ones people prefer lifts from.

  15. Comment by Mike posted on

    Having read lots of comments now from instructors & DVSA i’ve now listed what I think is needed after 26 years of teaching!
    No1-Pupils should have to pass a theory test before they are allowed on the road & able to take it once reaching their 16th as many don’t have a clue about road signs,markings & other vital information before driving!
    No2-Motorway/National limit country lane road lessons should be compulsory!
    No3-Driving test driver faults should be halved to 7/8 as 15 is encouraging poorer drivers to be able to pass which will lead to more accidents!!

  16. Comment by Peter posted on

    Now let's start at the beginning, When is that, well it's the day the provisional license arrives included with license should be a booklet from the DVSA telling the pupil ,mum & dad importance of good tuition with a correct number of hours....not just leave it to us to deal with them cos we all are assumed to be rip off merchants..not the Professional Driver Trainers we actually are......however our dress code could help Tshirt and jeans don't impress me I have seen window cleaners looking smarter than ADI's.....I am suited & booted and I engage with family all works a treat,yes maybe 15 DF's are 10 too many.I have found mum & dad's teaching lacking in quality not only in skill but legal standards

  17. Comment by Abigail (DVSA) posted on

    Thank you for all your feedback and ideas so far - it's great to see so much.

    Thinking specifically about driving in the dark for a moment, what reasons have you come across for pupils not wanting a lesson in the dark?

    • Replies to Abigail (DVSA)>

      Comment by Maggie posted on

      Instructors charging extra for out of hours lessons....

      • Replies to Maggie>

        Comment by Mal posted on

        I have never heard of an instructor charging more for out of hrs lessons. It should be a flat rate all the way through.

    • Replies to Abigail (DVSA)>

      Comment by Stu posted on

      We spend a good proportion of the year teaching in the dark. Why don’t DVSA conduct tests in the dark?

      • Replies to Stu>

        Comment by John (DVSA) posted on

        Hi Stu

        The law that governs driving tests states that they must include an eyesight test. The law says that the candidate must be able to read the number plate ‘in good daylight’ as part of that test.


        • Replies to John (DVSA)>

          Comment by Stu posted on

          Thanks for this response John. I’m know how long-winded it is to implement a change in the law. Although not impossible, as proven by recent changes for learners on motorways. Realising that pass plus is dead, the new test now includes most of its syllabus, what appetite does DVSA have to push for a change in the eyesight law so that learner drivers come to expect it as the norm to be tested in daylight or in the dark?

    • Replies to Abigail (DVSA)>

      Comment by Simon posted on

      It's easily possible to achieve test pass standard within a few weeks. How would you propose a learner that starts in may and passes within a couple of months could have practice in the dark? Examiners dont work in the dark, why should ADIs work until nearly midnight to facilitate lessons in the dark in summer??

    • Replies to Abigail (DVSA)>

      Comment by David posted on

      Reasons I've been given (as an ADI) for pupils not wanting lessons in the dark;
      1) Its too late
      2) I'll be too tired
      3) Not necessary - it's just the same as daytime
      4) My parents say you just want to get more money out of them
      5) My parents say they'll cover that after my test
      6) The test isn't at night, so I don't need to know about driving in the dark
      7) Don't have time in the evening

      Obviously I don't agree with these points, but they're reasons I've been given.
      Until we can change people's mindset that learning to drive is about safe driving for life, and not just getting through the test, many of these perceptions will never go away.
      Personally I think it should be done in the later years of school.

    • Replies to Abigail (DVSA)>

      Comment by Steve Cornwell posted on

      I've never had a pupil that refused to or didn't want to drive in the dark. There are some limitations to achieving this goal if a pupil embarks on lessons through the Summer months. My syllabus includes as much of pass plus requirements as possible PRE test. The introduction of motorway lessons has helped with this. Post test pupils rarely take up Pass Plus training. It is essential that this is made an integral part of the driver training before test. It has not escaped my attention that in the recent communications posted from the DVSA, there is a focus on exposing novice drivers to more hours training on country roads and night driving experiences. This really isn't new news and to be honest is glaringly obvious without the need for rafts of statistics to recognise this. I believe that the DVSA had a great opportunity to push ahead with far reaching changes to driver training and education when some elements of the test were changed. It was a sticking plaster for a gaping wound. The DVSA, in my opinion, needs to commit to making the big changes and in a more timely manner. Technology, ever increasing vehicles on the roads and huge generational differences are not being kept up with. Come on DVSA! Enough discussion....lets see some action please.

  18. Comment by Margaret Jakins posted on

    For once, set a good example and make someone on the TV soaps learn with a driving school not just their 'boyfriend' who says 'I'll teach you to drive'. The latest on Eastenders was the lad who actually was only 19 yrs old!

  19. Comment by Gordon posted on

    It's not rocket science the driving test is totally inadequate! Every day we see dangerous near miss situations on our roads..The standard of driving is very low in general. I agree the s chool of Mum and Dad can be and often is lethal and counter productive in most cases. Now ADI's have to be Psychologists, CCL when most can't distinguish between left and right.

  20. Comment by M. Afzal posted on

    There are large number of learners who are only interested in minimum driving to pass their driving test, this is clearly reflected in relatively low pass rate. Only limited progress can be made by encouraging parents and others.
    I see 2 options to overcome this hurdle and achieve substantial improvement :
    1. To make driving test more difficult
    2. Show driving portfolio to examiner before setting off for their driving test.

  21. Comment by Drew posted on

    Maybe the way forward would be compulsory pass+ including driving in the dark within four weeks of passing their test ! Time management for ADIs is difficult enough without trying to fit in night driving for every pupil never mind the amount of hours the ADI would have to put in .

    • Replies to Drew>

      Comment by BASHIR TAHIR posted on

      Every one becomes more confident after passing the test and learn more if there is not much pressure on pupil.
      Passpluss should be compulsory for everyone.

  22. Comment by Jeremy Ireland posted on

    I frequently find that 17 / 18 yr olds have very little appreciation of anything mechanical. This becomes apparent with relatively simple tasks like steering and relative movement of vehicles, relative speeds, use of mechanical controls and understanding of the standardised symbols on car controls. Younger students only seem to relate to screen-based systems like phones and tablets that use icons, swipes and gestures. There is a major disconnect between the technology they know and use up to 17 and what they are suddenly faced with in a car. Parents don't seem to invest the time with them as kids, in the car, to talk about what they are doing while they are driving - 'just sit and watch the on-board screen on the back of the seat'! They are not involved with roads while on journeys. We ADIs have a lot more to do than teach them to drive... ...we have to fill in many gaps first.

  23. Comment by Gdp65 posted on

    Agree with most. The government should impose a minimum amount of lessons with the possibility of a record keeping to show the examiner that the minimum lessons have been taken. Also the test should have a grading system like the RoSPA which might encourage pupils to get “gold silver or bronze” standard. If the higher level is achieved then there could be “rewards” like cheaper insurance or allowed to drive larger engine etc

  24. Comment by Mike Ward posted on

    Well, a great way for the DVSA to encourage learners to take lessons in the dark would be if they offered tests in the dark. And not to cancel tests at the drop of a hat when visibility reduces.

    If passing the test truly signifies that the driver is ready to be on any road in any conditions then the test should continue in any conditions.

    • Replies to Mike Ward>

      Comment by Olivia (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Mike, the law that governs driving tests states that they must include an eyesight test. The law says that the candidate must be able to read the number plate ‘in good daylight’ as part of that test.

      • Replies to Olivia (DVSA)>

        Comment by Mike Ward posted on

        If you REALLY want to change things, you can.

        It’s not beyond the wit of man to arrange a number plate read in the morning for a candidate who has a test scheduled in the dark.

        • Replies to Mike Ward>

          Comment by Adrian posted on

          Olivia (DVSA)
          Have the DVSA heard of the new invention called light bulbs and maybe dimmer switches? As more test centres are multi purpose and could accommodate a section set up to replicate good visibility I am sure that this can be achieved.
          As a fleet trainer I often have to adapt to circumstances.
          Or are DVSA only able to suggest ways for ADIs to work longer impacting on their family life whilst examiners finish at about 4pm to go home to family!
          Where there is a will there is a way.
          Time to speak to your unions!

  25. Comment by PAUL posted on

    Since the DVSA has now encouraged Driving Examiners to devise routes using country roads with national speed limits. Many candidate's were very poor, unable to read bends, not been able to demonstrate the correct speed or gear on approach and coasting into the bend, resulting in the candidates losing control. We are already seeing a vast improvement from when it was first introduced. However this depends on the location of the DTC due to test timings.
    Therefore where the location of the DTC prevents the examiners to use rural roads. ADI's need to educate their student's of the dangers of just developing on driving test area's.
    They are many excellent ADI's out there and are told all the time that the student cannot afford two hourly sessions. We need to encourage them and there parents that this subject must be covered for their children's own safety to allow them to drive safely for life. This does not have to come at an extra cost. Suggest to students and parents on a tight budget to have fortnightly sessions this will allow the ADI to teach them in these rural area's. Explain the majority of the serious and fatal accidents are happening in these area's.
    Explain to the parents and the student the benefits of fortnightly , two hour sessions. Spread the word of how professional you are and how concerned you are with the responsibility of the safety for their children.
    Maybe the DVSA could print leaflets explaining with the DVSA stats where and how most accidents are caused. Explain the increase in traffic, the modern car,use of cruise control,dangers of mobile phone's these are type of items the parents need to be educated in. Explain once their child has passed they can drive until the age of seventy and we want them safe. Explain how it opens up job opportunities You cannot put a price on driving however long it takes they have the qualification for life.

  26. Comment by James posted on

    Stop non adi's being able "teach/supervise" learners, they undo and contradict much of what adi's try to do
    Reduce the 6 points to 3 points and licence revoked until retaken test within 2 years of passing test
    If involved in an "injury" crash, and Police/fireservice/ambulance are involved, if at fault, then licence revoked until test retaken....but this applying to ALL drivers, not just "novice" drivers, the general standard of driving for all of us would be improved
    Reduce from 15 to 7 minors to pass a test
    Only dual control cars to be allowed to take test
    You can't make it compulsory to make adi's take learners out at night, in Scotland, in the summer, that could mean going out to work very late
    Make the driving test even, some of the driving test pass rates are disproportionately high in some area's, typically in rural area's where they are not as "challenged"......strangely enough statistically where there are more crashes......
    Stop blaming adi's for poor driving standards, the dsa test them, we do not teach them the poor attitudes many have
    I agree with making them take the theory test before they can start lessons on the roads

  27. Comment by Derek Clarke posted on

    Are all ADI's comfortable teaching on Country Roads, Dual Carriageways and Motorways?
    Having driven for a living, over a million miles, before becoming an ADI I know the importance of safe driving and understand it is impossible to teach every situation to a learner.
    Since becoming an ADI, 7 years ago, I have always made a point of teaching on all the above and have always taken pupils to different towns to give a variety of situations.
    If you don't make a big thing out of the number of hours with the parents and explain we all learn at different pace depending on our ability.
    I also make a point of doing a half price first lesson to see if the pupil like working with you or indeed if you feel you can work with them.
    I find I get pupils coming from intensive courses who are no where near being ready for a test in my eyes and I am not blaming the ADI's because they are time limited on the course.
    The pupils often comment they learn more from me than they have experienced on the courses and I realise this is because they have been taught the basics for the test and I am tidying up the lose ends, but it does worry me when they are not checking blind spots, have never had a demonstration of just how close you can be in the blind spot and not be seen.
    I am rambling but there is much more I could say as I am sure many ADI's could also.

  28. Comment by Paul Fuller posted on

    I live and teach in a rural area, with many problems attached to that type of driving.. disgraceful road surfaces with many damaging potholes, tractors driven by unauthorised novices taking trailers on journeys that were designed for lorries, mud left on the road causing extreme hazards. It generally means for safety it’s more sensible to stay on the A roads.
    Perhaps a consideration for more experience would be to make the old little used Pass Plus compulsory as Part 2 of a more complete test before a full licence can be awarded. I also agree that people’s disbelief of 60-80 hours being a realistic level to take a in some cases still not enough for many a student.

  29. Comment by Lask posted on

    My biggest concern is I feel there is not enough focus on slowing the vehicle down abruptly.
    I'd like to think I'm pretty thorough with my emergency (sorry) controlled stops.
    If I can find a faster quieter road nearby I like to pick up a little speed. If I can find a patch of loose surface ....why let's do a (low speed) stop on that too!
    Wanna cut road accidents?
    It's great to get up to speed and keep up to speed, but stuff happens out on the roads. Let's have the ability to use the brake very effectively too!
    Controlled stops every test please!!

  30. Comment by Angie Church posted on

    Some fantastic comments already made. I do strongly beleive that ADIs are not recognised for the superb job they do. We are the 'frontliners' who have to train,counsel, educate and prepare our next generation of drivers. It feels like we have very little back up from anyone. Parents with the "10hr " litany and why is it so expensive.
    I am tempted to reply sometimes with "How much is your son/daughters life worth to you?"
    Minimum ADI logged hours before test can be booked is a start. Pupils.get logbook with.provisional licence to get hours entered with ADI numbers.

  31. Comment by Roderick Davidson posted on

    More use of the higher levels of the GDE matrix both for Instructors and the clients. Perhaps including more questions into the theory part as well.

  32. Comment by Brian Terras posted on

    Make every aspect of driving mandatory. Not D.I.Y.
    Stop trying to reinvent the wheel.

  33. Comment by Gary Fossey posted on

    I agree with most of what's been said before although from my 13 years experience as an ADI I find many parents do quite a good job getting their children driving but it's also true to say that many parents appreciate the improvements following professional lessons. The main issue I think is with parents wanting their children getting their hands on a full driving licence as soon as possible, often to make their own lives easier (e.g. so they can take their siblings to school, etc). I also find the evidently wealthier they are the tighter they are when it comes to their children's safety. Quite a few parents anticipate 20 hours but do understand (especially where you discuss progress with the pupil) although the wealthy parents actively expect them to pass the test (many under the guise of giving it a go if only to get the test experience) within 20 hours. I think parents are where the focus of any campaign should be, highlighting how things have changed and that, in some way, scrimping on driving lessons is wantinly exposing their children to life changing injuries or convictions or even death. Some hard hitting "public information films" during TV adverts backed by billboards would be a good starting point, if necessary including guilt and nods to it being a form of neglect. I think a longer mandated gap in between failing a test and taking another would be an excellent motivator not to give it a go but to have any impact, especially with 6 week plus waiting times, this would have to be at least 6 weeks. I think previous suggestions that if a pupil fails more than 3 times they then have to wait, I'd suggest, 9 weeks until taking another and require confirmation that they've received at least 10 or 12 hours professional tuition inbetween would be a good compromise. I think a mandatory number of driving lessons or learning period, whilst a good idea in theory including but not limited to enabling driving in the dark, is difficult to implement since, as demonstrated in Ireland where the mandated 12 hours has translated into people needing only 12 hours professional tuition and many instructors advertising 12 hour packages, the number of mandated hours needs to represent the minimum amount of tuition seen as necessary to take an average beginner to safe driver standard; probably at least 35 hours and ideally 40-47 hours. I think the main issue here will be elected politicians!!! I also think verifying the driving experience received across any minimum learning period, including driving in the dark and rural roads, is almost impossible unless coupled with the mandated number of hours professional tuition including confirmation as to the driving experience received. Regarding the number of driving faults allowed, I seem to recall that it was intended at the outset to reduce the number to 12 after an implementation period? I'd have thought 9-11 is plenty high enough? The main issue with night time driving is that most ADIs already work long hours (I do 0930-1930 six days a week although I try to finish by 1730 on Saturdays) and this can also be what leads to many leaving the industry over time and especially where they have younger families. I do agree that most serious crashes involving new young drivers happen between 2230-0400 and especially Friday and Saturdays and that something must be done to address this. Whilst I agree with graduated licensing, maybe including weekend curfews and passenger restrictions unless for verifiable work requirements, I don't think banning new young drivers from night time driving will make that much difference on its own, with the exception of preventing the novelty with a car full of mates in the first few weeks or months, since many new drivers need the experience of night time driving, ideally with professional tuition, at some point. Taking all the above into account and, unless you introduce a minimum learning period along with a minimum professional tuition period, that it would, if nothing else, be unsafe for instructors to work from, say, 0930-2300 during the busiest summer period, the best and most acceptable solution would be to mandate instructor confirmation of at least 2 hours driving in the dark either prior to or at the latest 2-3 months after passing their test. From an ADI point of view and considering nearly all pupils would be able to make themselves available during night times, this would enable instructors to charge prices enabling them to start later the following day in the event that they have to work after 21-2200 to deliver the tuition. Hopefully that timeframe would minimise such occurrences. I realise in a perfect world things could be better but such changes are better than nothing changing as the result of involved parties (e.g. Instructors and their trade associations, DVSA, politicians and ministers, road safety organisations, the public and the media) not comprising or moving from their fixed opinions and agendas; which is what killed off the previously proposed green paper in its infancy.

  34. Comment by Rod Smith posted on

    There are lots of good comments above. Without doubt in my mind is that the test isn't up to scratch. 15 faults is an acceptable standard? I teach pupils to aim for 5 or less, which allows for nerves on the day.. I don't have a problem with Mum or Dad helping practice but needs to be coupled with a minimum number ( maybe 20) of professional teaching hours.. It's a shame though that there are a number of ADI's who frankly shouldn't be teaching, and the latest Part 3 is a nonsense. The whole thing can be planned and stage managed so the examiner sees exactly what they are supposed to see.. Bring back the old part 3 (updated) to qualify for a trainee licence, then the new part three as a part 4, real life lesson scenario. all food for thought,...

  35. Comment by John Fish ADI posted on

    I have read many comments, agree with most of them, but:-
    To allow only five driver faults is a bit draconian; someone has suggested 7 or 8, thus halving the current 15. V. Good- encourages yet more skill, without presenting a far-too-daunting task.
    I totally agree with a doctrine of NO Mum & Dad. They believe that because they're paying AND only took x hours themselves, we're not to be trusted, in a nutshell. Over 35 years of teaching civilians and members of the emergency services, I have had to endure the arrogance of DIY enthusiasts- except I have not done so. I (eventually) leave it all to them if they won't see reason. The advent of marking ALL faults has been most welcome to all instructors. It's time to now take FULL control and STOP
    amateurs from trying to do our work!

  36. Comment by David Cox posted on

    Dave Cox ADI
    Seems to me that there's some data that's not been highlighted that would make deciding what to do to combate the standard of driving in Uk roads.

    Of the deaths and injuries reported, at night, on country roads etc, how many of them were newly qualified drivers, it doesn't say. Are we to assume that of the data supplied are casualties that fall into new driver category or does it include experience drivers too, if so bit unfair to single out new drivers as having a problem.

    The data doesn't say what the remainder of the newly qualified drivers are doing correctly, to prevent themselves from being a casualties. Perhaps we should be finding out and enforce that.

    Surely the same adi is teaching pupils thar fall into both categories, those that become casualties and those that don't. Is it just a case that social makeup is a cause of many problems on the Uk road.

    If obtaining a provisional license was a little harder, perhaps not as many "would give it a go" there has to be a modicum of understanding/intelligence within someone wanting to drive, and those who cant demonstrate that should consider another mode if transport.

    A system of continued driving standards needs to be introduced, wherby newly qualified drivers are further assessed 6months and 18months after first obtaining their full license. Any new driver involved in a traffic incident that involves the police should be referred back for retest.

  37. Comment by Neil Wilkinson posted on

    All the things mentioned are hitting the nail on the head.
    No 1 for me though is let's get more public information once and for all out there on tv, ads, social media, everywhere as to what it takes to safely drive for life. For instance, min amount of hours on the road WITH A PROFESSIONAL DRIVING INSTRUCTOR. Driving test being more stringent with less faults allowed.
    Parents especially need educating on this to quell once and for all the myth that they are being cheated by the instructor. I'm sick of constantly being questioned and not really being believed that their child is not at test standard, parents don't teach them properly, driving in a straight line at quiet times to Tesco and back does not cut it,,all we are doing is our job with good intention. We have an obligation to ensure pupils are ready for not only them but others out there they may affect. But we shouldn't have to bear the whole burden, support for us could be better with more publicity.
    I can't believe that with all the accident statistics being quoted that the link between unsafe drivers and lack of driving tme and experience is not recognised.
    To me night driving, country roads are just small aspects and part and parcel of everything else a driver has to know about., like how to safely pull out of a junction without affecting another driver or at decision making in busy areas.
    This can't be done on the cheap either it's a life skill, a college course and takes time, especially if a pupil takes only an hour a week.
    Until this happens in my opinion things won't improve and only can get worse.

  38. Comment by Iain Smith posted on

    After over 35 years as an ADI nothing has changed from learner enquiries !
    How much ? How quick ? When can I put in for my test ?
    I can drive right ! My dad passed in 10 hours ! I've already booked a test !
    ADIs and the DVSA try so hard to do a good job but their hands are tied by both the present and previous governments who in my opinion just play around with statistics, never listen to people at the sharp end and only say things that they hope will make them more popular to keep them in a job.
    In the beginning the Pass-Plus scheme with genuine insurance discounts seemed a good idea but unfortunately it was never made compulsory by the government, then one by one the insurance companies cut back on their discounts to new drivers, this then made it not worth while to do and also much more difficult to convince learners sign up to. Now the government want us to do their job by asking us to convince new drivers and their parents to spend more on driver training, but unfortunately all they ever ask is how cheap are you and how quick can I get my test.
    As for the changes that have been introduced such as driving forward into an empty parking space and then backing out etc, learners find this much easier than reversing around a tight left hand corner out on the roads or turning a car round in the road, I cannot understand why these two manoeuvres could not be brought back as another option for the examiners to ask a candidate to perform. I personally haven't seen any ADI teach these since the end of 2017. After reading previous comments it seems in general that most ADIs do have similar thoughts however once again no one in power ever listens to us. It's a joke that a newly qualified driver with 15 driving errors spread across the DL25 can be then allowed out on a public road on their own, but its certainly not a joke when they hurt someone!!!
    I believe the government should stop asking us to do their dirty work for them and they should stop playing around with pointless ideas and statistics. They will probably play around with these statistics from all our comments and then tell us what they want to tell us. Nothing will change!!!

  39. Comment by Chris Harris posted on

    Maybe we should be looking beyond new drivers? It's the seriously low standard of drivers with full licences on the road. Indicators seem a thing of the past and as for lane discipline on roundabouts they haven't got a clue? The speeding awareness course should be replaced with an automatic re-take of both theory and practical test, that would put the fear of God into most people. One of my pupils, who's fed up with other drivers not indicating, suggested a highway taskforce responsible purely for stopping bad drivers. Let's face it the police don't have time, so maybe a separate taskforce would work? Existing drivers have no deterrent for bad driving.

  40. Comment by Bev posted on

    If parents are going to take their learner driver out for practice I encourage them to sit in on a lesson. That way we get to show them how we teach and give instructions. Many parents are surprised we teach block changing gears and how to get started after stalling.

  41. Comment by Ken Cross ADI posted on

    I feel the best way forward to improve driving standards is to have minimum number of hours daytime .nighttime.
    Logged by ADI and until this is completed a DT cannot be taken.
    If the tested is failed then a further number of hours should be taken this number should be set by the DE and ADI after the test and a further test cannot be taken until this is done.
    All lessons should be signed off by an ADI.
    Extra practice with mum and dad should be noted but not forming part of the overall hours.
    Theory test should be taken before starting driving lessons.
    A hard hitting TV ad about driving and standards should done followed by the number of minimum hours first test 50/60 hours
    Then further hours if test failed
    People have to understand the need to improve Driving Standards its not just about cost its about saving lives.

  42. Comment by Steve Gould posted on

    Location of your driving test centres

    Our local driving test centre is located in a congested commercial area of the city with no access to faster roads, except on the extended test. Obviously other factors than the testing of high speed roads influenced this location decision made a few years ago . 2 miles north\south\east or west would have solved this!

  43. Comment by Terry Westbrook posted on

    Having read all the above comments I would like to offer the following suggestions :

    -The Driving fault (minor faults) count should be lowered by half .

    - There should be a minimum hours of professional driving instruction by an ADI say 25or 30 hours regardless of how good the pupil is.

    -Pass plus should be compulsory as many pupils will never have driven in the dark or in differing environments so are far too vulnerable after passing.

  44. Comment by Matthew Leeden posted on

    Alongside all these great comments, I think the minimum age of being allowed to take a driving test should be 18. Keep the age where you start learning to drive at 17 to start getting driving experience, but no test is allowed till you turn 18. This would get pupils and parents thinking about maturity of drivers, safety etc, financial commitment etc,

    I've just passed my part 3 from PDI, and I had to show my training log, with minimum hours before being in the car, along with the minimum 40 hours needed to get the PDI in the first place, plus the required additional 20 hours. There should be the same thing for learners, and I absolutely believe there should be a driving assessment in place alongside a re-take of the theory test and need to pass in order to renew your licence for everyone. We have to via standards checks, so why not apply this to all road users?

  45. Comment by Ian Rhodes posted on

    I think the first step in any changes needed for a more correct and safe environment for all road users is having a more positive connection with the people in government who will see through any valid new rulings that are probably not going to be agreeable with the general public without fear of losing future voters

  46. Comment by Keith Bur posted on

    In three years I’ve had three non fault accidents where third parties have collided with my vehicle. All three drivers of the third party vehicles where between 40-50 suggesting we need retests as no matter how much training people receive they will still develop dangerous habits.

  47. Comment by Craig Paaske posted on

    I think a return to Pass plus being the preferred insurance route or even mandatory within 2 years of passing test.
    Also theory to be part of school tuition. I find too many pupils thinking theory is part of the recommended hours and not another aspect of the test.
    Finally close down the loophole of parent, family or friend tuition. Leave it to the experts

  48. Comment by Paul Matthews posted on

    Can I ask when we are going to stop blaming “new drivers” for everything that happens on the roads and start apportioning it to the extremely bad practices of “experienced” drivers !!! Unless we teach them to drive the way the populous does and change the test accordingly we will never stop “accidents” happening !! Driving tuition is made very difficult by the way drivers react to learners with a Driving Instructor in the car !! The amount of times a driver shouts “we should know better as a driving instructor” when in fact we are correct and safe in what we are teaching !!!

  49. Comment by Neil Tamblin posted on

    A graduated licence should mean driving without passengers for the first 12 months.
    Pass plus is pointless. All aspects are taught by me as part of learning to drive except motorways.
    Motorways cannot be compulsory as we don't all live next door to one. It's 50 miles to get the the nearest and then 120 miles to smart motorway. A 6 hr lesson!
    I agree that learning should only be with an adi but minimum hours is pointless. If the pupil can drive it's a waste of my time and boring in lessons. May he concessions for tractor drivers.
    A black box or monitoring device should be mandatory in all cars for all deivers. Those that know they are being watched drive safer.

  50. Comment by Ian watson posted on

    Firstly, if they teach them to an advanced standard from the start, instead of a basic standard, then driving will improve, but also attitudes need to change also, they need to think about other road users, not just themselves. I passed my car test in 87, bike and advanced in 89, and Hgv in 91 when I was 21. But driving standards are much worse now then they’ve ever been. I love driving, I take interest and pride in it, but to most, it’s just a thing they need to get to work. Nothing else.

  51. Comment by Stu posted on

    With regards to improving independent driving and the use of SatNav we are of course held back by the appalling deterioration in our road signage and marking system. Many of the routes require local knowledge or interjection by ourselves or the examiner in order to cover incorrect or out-of-date maps; illegible signs or markings; missing signs; unconventional junction layouts or hidden signs. It’s becoming increasingly common to add “follow the principles of lane discipline except at this junction or that junction...”

    What can DVSA do or what are they doing to help improve these?

  52. Comment by Alison Marr posted on

    Until it is recognised that a human brain is not developed enough to assess risk until it ( The brain) is in its early 20’s we will continue to have under 23’s as the biggest accident risks we have. Under 23’s are not equipped mentally to assess all the risks modern driving throws at them .
    A graduated/ minimum learning period is essential.
    Somewhere also re testing or assessment of drivers every ten years should be encouraged by insurance company’s. Hitting where it makes a difference ie financial seems to me the best way forward.

  53. Comment by Simon Knowlton ADI posted on

    The one issue no one has commented on 'Attitude'.
    We can train/coach pupils for a minimum amount of hours. Covering urban, rural areas. At night and during the day.
    On an almost daily basis I witness shocking driving with children present in the vehicle. This is where our future pupils start developing their attitude to driving. The school of mum & dad. They're learning long before they actually start driving.
    What we can do about this, I don't know.

  54. Comment by Rob Gwilliams posted on

    As for the dark lessons, at the moment it doesn't get dark until 9.30pm
    I have been instructing for 16 years now and found when I used to work evenings, students didn't like driving in the dark and tried to avoid it unless they had no choice due to work commitments.

    Due to family and personal reasons, I reduced my working hours back in 2013, so now I only work Mon-Fri 8.00am-5.15pm so probably 75%of the year I wouldn't be teaching in dark. The other 25% would be the start of the 8.00am lesson and the 4.15pm lesson.

    So because of this not many and on occasions none of my students would get dark lessons unless they go out in evening with private practice.
    This is not something that I will be changing at any time soon, if at all.

  55. Comment by Dave Harris posted on

    Time has passed since I was teaching learners but reading the comments above, nothing has changed. I’ve always thought that unless there is a system whereby the relevant experience, knowledge and hours has to be obtained compulsorily and certain standards recorded and achieved, you will never get those that need it to do the additional training that the paper discusses. There also needs to be an element of statistical information included in a digestible form. This requires a different type of ADI than often falls off the production line.

    Pass Plus was generally undertaken by those that needed it least. Those that needed it, didn’t do it because they’d got fed up with the time and expense involved. Their plan was to follow their parents’ advice ie “Now you’ve passed your test, you can go out and learn to drive”

    Young drivers will generally have no fear because their experience is very limited because that is how the young brain functions. Maturity and understanding doesn’t really start until the age of 25 plus

  56. Comment by Laurence Wright posted on

    So much valuable comment already, no need to repeat it all, I hope the DVSA is listening!

    TV ads, leaflets in schools, ads online...……..anything, anywhere. Straight talking hard facts aimed at parents and learners, to dismiss the myths around learning to drive and don't be nice or soft about it.

    I tried phoning the DVSA on 19th July, for more information on the proposed research, but the person I spoke to didn't know anything about it and couldn't find anyone who did. I then tried DfT, had the same response and was asked to phone back the next day, but didn't know who I should ask for!
    So, who is responsible for conducting this research?

    I am sure that there are many ADIs with ideas to offer the research team and I hope we are given the opportunity. With my own driving background and experience as an ADI, I would like to offer some suggestions when I find out where to write.

    If DfT (DVSA) research properly, put the right information out in the right way and government legislate as necessary, our roads will be safer for all.

  57. Comment by Philip posted on

    As a Fleet Trainer and Assessor, and a Speed Awareness Course presenter, I find that there is a massive knowledge gap right across the age range.
    Older drivers (often the proud ‘ten hour’ passers) frequently cannot tell the difference between a dual carriageway and a three-lane single, and often have no idea what the speed limit is at any given point unless there is a sign in front of them. Most do not even fully understand the controls in their vehicle. It is not unusual to assess a sales rep in a powerful automatic who claims to drive 50k a year who has no idea how to use the manual gear options. I recently assessed a lady with 28 years’ experience who ‘never turns right’ because her father taught her that it was dangerous.
    Younger drivers often have not the faintest idea about speed and the dynamics of residual braking and changing direction. Those that have had collisions are invariably convinced they were the innocent party, especially when they have been rear-ended. Discussion usually reveals that they stopped abruptly and had no idea what the vehicle behind would do, or even if there was one.
    Observation skills are almost universally atrocious right across the age ranges, with rare exceptions. People of all ages often have no conception of using their lights appropriately to be seen, thinking that lights are only there to help you see.
    The basics of MSM are very rarely on display, especially at roundabouts and when changing lanes. Even the use of roundabouts is a mystery still to many people.
    I am frequently told ‘my instructor never taught me that’, usually about some absolutely basic driving rule. I normally advise that the instructor must have told them and they must have done it or they would never have passed their test.
    The current ‘test’ is a travesty, with way too many allowable faults. The nonsense of not conducting tests in the dark or bad weather is unforgivable, and the daylight eyesight rule needs to be changed urgently. Drivers, especially young drivers, totally fail to understand how long it takes them to recognise a hazard in the dark, wet or fog. The DVSA hide behind the legal requirement for ‘daylight’ simply to avoid paying Examiners more to conduct tests in the dark: most Examiners in all categories scoot off home by 4pm.
    There must be a recognised set of rules for training, as in many parts of Europe. Germany requires a proven 40 hours of theory BEFORE a Driver is allowed to drive a vehicle, followed by a further statutory minimum 40 hours with a professional trainer, aside from any private practice.
    The situation with manoeuvres on the test is a joke. I assess new van drivers who have no idea how to perform a right reverse, or even that it is the only legal way to turn a van round using a side road.
    Forward parking into a parking bay is the epitome of bad driving, unless the driver can continue forward to leave the bay. Reversing in is the only safe method, giving full steering flexibility and total vision, both arriving and departing the bay.
    There are too many other matters to list, but the testing procedure needs a thorough overhaul.