UK driving test to receive shake-up

A major shake-up of the traditional UK driving test will come into force in December this year.

A range of changes have been drafted by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), including the addition for learner drivers to understand and safely use sat-nav systems whilst on the road.

The amount of time spent on independent driving will also be extended, whilst skills such as reversing round a corner will be replaced with more common scenarios in everyday driving – such as pulling into a parking bay. Can you remember the last time you reversed around a corner?

The Government’s transport minister Andrew Jones, said “Lives will be saved as a result of the new changes.”

He stated: “We have some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking to make them safer.”

“These changes announced today will help reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads and equip new drivers with the skills they need to use our roads safely. Ensuring the driving test is relevant in the 21st Century, for example the introduction of sat-navs, will go a long way towards doing this.”

The changes will be rolled out on December 4th this year, with motoring research charity the RAC Foundation suggesting they represent the biggest shake-up of the driving test since the launch of the theory examination test in the mid-1990s.

Road accidents still remain the largest cause of death among the UK’s younger demographic. More than a quarter of fatalities between the ages of 15 and 19 are accounted for by these accidents.

It is hoped that the new changes will be more responsive to 21st Century driving habits. As now more than half of the driving population own a satellite navigation device.

DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said the organisation wants to guide people through a lifetime of safe driving.

He said: “It’s vital that the driving test keeps up to date with new vehicle technology and the areas where new drivers face the greatest risk once they’ve passed their test.”

Will this be a benefit for drivers passing their test now? With rising costs for the average motorist such as new road tax changes and car insurance premiums rising, will this be another deterrent for younger drivers?