Independent driving to be launched

To determine a learner driver's ability to take to the road safely, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is planning to introduce independent driving into tests next month.

It has been confirmed that independent driving will be incorporated into the British driving test on October 4.

Currently, learner drivers are given directions throughout the test by the examiner.

However under the new rules, candidates will have to demonstrate their ability to drive safely with help of traffic signs, verbal directions, or a combination of both.

When following verbal directions, the candidates can benefit from a diagram. The move is expected to help reduce the number ofcar insurance claims put in by new drivers.

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: "The independent driving assessment gives test candidates the chance to show they have the necessary skills to cope with the sort of traffic conditions they will face every day.

"Learning those skills from the very start of the driving process will help make new drivers safer."

DSA's Chief Driving Examiner Trevor Wedge said: "The aim of independent driving is to assess the candidate's ability to drive safely whilst making decisions independently. It's not a test of navigation and candidates won't be failed for going off route."

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