Driving test modernised to include sat-navs and updated manoeuvres

Driving test modernised to include sat-navs and updated manoeuvres
The car driving test is being updated to make it more reflective of modern conditions on the roads, it has been announced.

As part of the reforms unveiled by the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat-nav during the exam.

Drivers will also no longer be required to carry out the reverse around a corner and turn in the road manoeuvres.

Instead, they will be asked to perform moves that are more in tune with real-life scenarios, such as driving into and reversing out of a parking lot.

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In addition, those taking the practical test will be given vehicle safety questions while they are driving the vehicle. For instance, they could be asked to use the rear heated screen or to use the windscreen washers and wipers while the car is in motion.

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In the new test format, the “independent driving” section - when candidates are asked to follow traffic signs, verbal directions or both - will be extended from 10 to 20 minutes.

Calls have now been made by the DVSA for the public to have their say on the changes in a consultation set to close on August 25.

It is hoped that the reforms will help to lower the number of accidents that occur on the roads by ensuring drivers are better equipped to deal with modern conditions.

DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said: “Great Britain’s roads are among the safest in the world. But there’s still more that we can do to keep road users safe - particularly newly-qualified drivers.

“Making sure that the test better assesses a driver’s ability to drive safely and independently is part of our strategy to help every driver through a lifetime of safe driving.”

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The changes are expected to give motorists the chance to have more practice on high-speed roads, not including motorways, on which most fatal crashes take place.

The reforms will also ensure motorists know how to safely use a sat-nav as official figures show that 52% of drivers now use the devices.

DVSA has now launched a trial with the Transport Research Laboratory to find out how the changes will affect drivers.

More than 4,500 learners and 850 instructors have been taking part in the research at 32 locations up and down the country, with the trial expected to end later this year.

Motorists have also recently been asked to have their say on official driverless car proposals, which could see changes made to the Highway Code and the law surrounding vehicle insurance.

It is thought these proposals would help to prepare the country’s roads for the arrival of self-driving technology.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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