Here at Big Motoring World we welcome anything that helps to reduce accidents and makes our roads safer for everyone. The Government recently took a big step in the right direction recently, with the introduction of a number of positive changes to the UK driving test. The changes – which were thoroughly tested with learner drivers before their implementation – took effect on 4 December.
Here’s a quick run down of what they are:
- More independent driving – now 20 minutes rather than 10.
- A new section that asks the driver to follow directions from a sat-nav
- No more reverse around a corner or three point turns, but instead the driver is asked to do one of three possible reversing manoeuvres – including parking in a bay.
- Demonstrating vehicle safety knowledge, while driving.
So, how will the new changes have a positive effect on safety on our roads? Well, one of the key motivations was to make the test reflect real driving conditions as closely as possible. The aim was to leave new drivers more confident and capable behind the wheel – particularly on country roads and dual carriageways.
Neil Greig, from Britain’s biggest independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, explains more.
“Our key aim was to ensure the test reflects the real world as much as possible and also encourages learners to gain experience of as wide a range of traffic situations as possible,” he says. “By doubling the independent driving element of the test and introducing a sat-nav for an unknown route, new drivers will have to practise more. A common criticism of the old test was that it always used the same well-known routes, which L drivers could learn by rote.
“Finally, asking questions whilst driving can help the learner to multi task and deal with passengers. New drivers with relevant skills and more experience can only be good news for road safety.”