The shake-up would mean candidates needing more all-round motoring knowledge in the question-and-answer section of the test, with written replies replacing the present vocal response.
The Driving Standards Agency, which conducts the tests, outlined plans for change in a consultation paper in which it suggested candidates being asked questions on a wide range of subjects. These include the cause of accidents, environmentally-friendly driving, common mechanical faults, motorway driving, driving at night. and coping with vulnerable road users.
The consultation paper, issued as part of the UK response to an EC move to harmonise driving tests in the Community by mid- 1996, has been sent to more than 140 organisations asking for comments by November.