Instructor opposes driving test change

EXPERT: Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, has given her opinion on the new driving test.
EXPERT: Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, has given her opinion on the new driving test.
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A petition against a ‘dangerous’ manoeuvre in the new driving rest has gathered more than 2,000 signatures.

The new test, which comes into force on Monday, December 4, introduces a new manoeuvre which requires learners to pull up on the right hand side of the road and reverse two car lengths before pulling out into the flow of traffic.

The change sparked driving instructor Antony Cove to launch a petition to abolish the manoeuvre. He claims it contravenes the Highway Code instruction “do not to park facing against the traffic flow”.

More than 2,300 have signed the e-petition so far and a new study into the new test has produced mixed results.

Driver savings site Confused.com has conducted research into a raft of changes in the new test. They found only 17 per cent of motorists agree with the pulling up to face oncoming traffic manoeuvre.

Confused.com’s motoring editor Amanda Stretton said: “It’s slightly concerning that many driving instructors deem one of the new manoeuvres ‘dangerous’, but we must trust that those learners who will be practicing these skills early will develop safe driving habits to last a life time.”

But other changes like learning on motorways from 2018 and driving with a sat nav have been welcomed.

Amanda Stretton added: “We hope that the new test will help learner drivers to adapt to the modern conditions of our roads, especially through the independent driving and sat nav additions. Our research showed that 73 per cent of drivers believe motorway driving should be tested, and so it’s likely many people will welcome the law change which allows learner drivers to practice on motorways from 2018.

“Drivers have to put up with seeing poor driving on our roads every day, so their views should be reflected in what learners are taught in order to improve the standard of driving across the UK.”

WHAT IS IN THE NEW DRIVING TEST?

From December 4 there will be five parts to the driving test, according to the Gov.uk website

It involves an eyesight check, ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions, general driving ability, reversing your vehicle and independent driving.

Reversing your vehicle will include pulling up on the right-hand side of the road, reversing for around two car lengths, and then rejoining the traffic. The independent driving aspect will involve driving for about 20 minutes by following either directions from a sat nav or traffic signs.

The new test will take around 40 minutes.

PIC: James Hardisty

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