From Monday 4th December, 2017, the UK Driving test sees four new criteria added. Here’s a summary of the four changes:
- Increased independent driving. The independent driving section has been increased from ten minutes to twenty – this will now comprise almost half the test. Candidates will be expected to drive without turn by turn instructions from the examiner.
- Following sat nav directions. The examiner will provide and set up the Sat Nav, a TomTom Start 52. The candidates will then be expected to follow its instructions. The examiner can be asked by the candidate for confirmation of where the sat nav is directing the vehicle. Candidates will not be penalised for taking a wrong turn, providing a fault is not made whilst doing so.
- Updated reversing maneuvers. Turning in the Road and reversing round a corner have been removed from the test. Candidates will now be asked to park in a bay, parallel park on the side of the road, or pull up on the right hand side of the road, reverse the length of two cars then rejoin traffic.
- Answer a vehicle safety question whilst driving. Previously the ‘show me, tell me’ part of the test was done at the beginning with the engine turned off. Now candidates will be expected to answer the questions whilst driving the car. For example, you might be asked to demonstrate how to work the windscreen wipers.
Interacting with the sat nav has been introduced to the test after a consultation with the Driver and Vehicle standards authority (DVSA) found that 50% of drivers now have one in the car. 70% thought the ideas introduced on the 2017 driving test overhaul were a good idea.
The main purpose of the new items is to ensure candidates can be evaluated on busier, high-risk roads instead of the current low risk areas (such as housing estates) that are currently used for lessons and the practical driving test.
The transport minister Andrew Jones (at the time of the new legislation) said: “These changes announced today will help reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads and equip new drivers with the skills they need to use our roads safely.
“Ensuring the driving test is relevant in the 21st century – for example, the introduction of sat navs, will go a long way towards doing this.”
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