Rookie motorists call for changes to test

Young motorists are backing changes to the driving test.
Young motorists are backing changes to the driving test.
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Young learners have backed proposed changes to the driving test.

They want more real life scenarios to be introduced like parking in bays and taking directions from sat navs.

Car insurance and vehicle provider Marmalade quizzed learner drivers, aged 17 to 24, about their views on suggested changes by the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency.

Nearly two thirds of those surveyed believed that manoeuvres such as reverse around a corner and turn in the road should be replaced with actions like driving and reversing into parking bays.

Marmalade’s chief executive Crispin Moger said: “This latest research is very telling and I would support the overwhelming majority of our learner drivers who believe that changes need to be made to update the test, to bring the process in-line with day-to-day driving. Encouraging more focus on real-life scenarios will only help young driver safety and ensure the UK’s novice drivers are well-equipped to deal with modern day driving and distractions.”

Just over half of learners thought that candidates should be asked to follow directions from a sat nav. They also believe the test needs to include items like pulling over for emergency vehicles.

They also identified other areas that should be addressed. These included the requirement to drive on motorways as well how best to overtake on a dual carriageway. The theory test was also an area of contention with young drivers, with many wanting to see changes implemented such as improving the computer software for the hazard perception section of the test.

Learner driver Bobby Hopkinson, 17, said: “I think having sat nav as part of the driving test is a really good idea. It’s a distraction to follow the directions and look at the screen as well as drive safely. To have it as part of my lessons would mean I would be more experienced at using it, hopefully making me safer.”

What are the proposed changes?

the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency has published a consultation asking for views on proposed changes to the driving test.

The suggestions are to increase the ‘independent driving’ part of the test from 10 to 20 minutes. To ask candidates to follow directions from a sat nav during the independent bit.

To replace the ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn in the road’ manoeuvres with more real-life scenarios.

To ask one of the two vehicle safety questions (known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions) while the candidate is driving.