Driving test to be more 'mentally demanding'
Friday 04 June 2010
"Mirror. Signal. Memorise" may become the new buzzwords for the UK's learner-drivers after a revamp to the driving test to encourage "independent thinking."
Learners will be asked to get themselves to a location 10 minutes away specified by the examiner – either by remembering directions or by following signs, mimicking a situation where a driver gets lost, according the Driving Standards Agency (DSA).
According to the DSA, the current test does not do enough to prepare drivers for the unaccompanied driving that will invariably occur post-test. When examiners tell candidates to, for example, turn left at the next junction, they are being given clues about which lane to be in. The new "independent driving" element is designed to rectify that.
Some motoring groups have suggested the changes will make the test too difficult. Others have praised them for better replicating real world circumstances.
Hugh Bladon of the Association of British Drivers said: "These new measures are missing the point of stopping reckless drivers on the road. These confusing new tasks could just make it more costly and take more time for learner drivers to pass their test."
The DSA – which this week celebrates the 75th anniversary of the driving test – had already made the test harder after a review last year.
It says the new test, coming in the autumn, will expose learners to real-life situations, namely getting lost or the possibility of having to flag down passers-by to ask for directions.
Even if the candidate does successfully navigate to the desired location, he or she will be asked to perform a U-turn to recreate a driver going the wrong way and having to turn the car around.
In the DSA's tests of the new section, the 100 learners tested made five times more mistakes than in the traditional test. The learners said it was "effortful, mentally demanding and frustrating" and just 18 per cent passed, less than one in five.
The new test will be introduced on 4 October and cost the same – £62. Learners will still have to take the theory test which was introduced in 1996.
The DSA's chief driving examiner Trevor Wedge said: "This year will see the introduction of independent driving into the test, to help candidates demonstrate their ability to drive without step-by-step instruction.
"Evidence shows learning to drive alone is the biggest challenge faced by newly-qualified drivers. We believe that this added element will lead to better and safer drivers."
The changes were welcomed by motoring group The Institute of Advanced Motorists, who said they were more "realistic".
Chief examiner Peter Rodger said: "You take away the examiners' prompt to turn and instead have to work it out for yourself as you do in the real world.
"The changes will make the tests more realistic and increase the standard of those coming onto our roads."
Life & Style blogs
Men in tights: getting to the bottom of the latest trend
Snapchat removed the Best Friends list feature and 'stalkers' are upset
Night Nurse could put drivers over new drug limit
Stephen Hawking: NHS is Britain's finest public service and must be preserved from commercial interests
Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...