It has been announced that there will be some significant changes to the current driving test this year. The DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) has announced that the practical test will change from December 2017 to reflect current driving habits, such as using a satellite navigation system.
The last time the current driving test changed was in 2010, with the introduction of independent driving. This was added to help learner drivers understand what it’s like to follow road signs and make decisions behind the wheel when you’re not completely sure where you’re going. This part of the test has now been developed so it keeps moving with the times, preparing new drivers for the challenges ahead.
Let’s take a look at the main changes to expect from the practical driving test this year.
Driving Test Alterations 2017
The newest section of the practical test is set to change again. Currently, this section involves reading a basic map and memorising the route, along with reading traffic signs to reach a predetermined location. This section will still be kept in the driving test, but there will be an extra 10 minutes added of following directions from a sat nav too. The examiner will provide the sat nav and set up the route ready for the driver to follow. It’s important to know that it doesn’t matter if you go the wrong way or don’t follow the exact route, as long as no driving faults are made. Therefore if you take a wrong turn it will not count as a fault, unless you make a general driving fault in the process.
Drivers are asked to perform various manoeuvres at some point during the test. The designated manoeuvres are changing – the turn in the road and the reverse around a corner will no longer be a part of this section. You will also only be asked to do one manoeuvre out of a possible three:
- Park in a bay (drive in a reverse out or reverse in and drive out)
- Parallel park on the side of the road
- Pull up on the right hand side of the road, reverse and then re-join traffic
Show Me Tell Me
Currently the ‘show me tell me’ section of the test happens right at the start before the driver sets off. There are many questions the examiner might ask, one is a show me and one is a tell me. The only change here is that one of the questions will be asked during the rest of the test while the learner is driving.
The new driving test has less of a focus on manoeuvres and pays more attention to independent driving, which is probably a good way to increase new driver’s confidence and reduce accidents.