Rookie drivers want driving test overhaul

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More than a third of young drivers in The North don’t believe the driving test is fit for purpose.

A new study from the Co-operative Insurance has found that 39 per cent of rookie drivers in Northern England feel the test doesn’t fully prepare them for life on the road.

The report, ’Young people in the driving seat’ is based on data held by the Co-op Insurance from over 60,000 young drivers. It also questioned 1,000 drivers aged 17 to 25, three quarters of whom want motorway driving added to the test.

Other called for improvements include day and night time driving and for it to include all manoeuvres.

James Hillon, director of products at the Co-operative Insurance, said: “Newly qualified drivers today are facing busier road conditions than any other generation.

“It’s extremely important for road safety that anyone who passes their driving test, regardless of age, feels comfortable and equipped to drive on the roads unsupervised. It is no secret that errors made on the roads unfortunately can have catastrophic consequences for road users and communities.”

The survey also revealed that while 98 per cent believed they were ‘safe drivers’ yet 40 per cent admitted dangerous behaviour at the wheel, like speeding and driving while tired.

Sarah-Jane Martin, spokeswoman for road safety charity Brake, said: “Road crashes are the biggest killer of young people in the UK and worldwide. The research by the Co-op shows that young people agree that the driving test isn’t up to scratch and doesn’t prepare them adequately. We know that young drivers are much more at risk of being involved in a road crash that causes death or serious injury than older drivers.

“That’s why we’re calling for Graduated Driving Licences to be introduced for new drivers. They have proven successful in other countries, and it’s an obvious way to make our roads safer.”

PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE TEST

Young motorists in The North want the following changes to the driving test.

Motorway driving should be included said 78 per cent of the 17 to 25-year-olds who were surveyed.

And 59 per cent would like both day and night time driving to form part of the test.

Half of those questioned want unnecessary theory questions to be scrapped.

The same amount want all manoeuvres to be included. Yet a quarter of those who took part want to remove the driving round the corner element, 17 per cent want rid of parallel parking and 12 per cent called for an end to the emergency stop.

Daniel Brown.

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