Driving test changes “don’t go far enough”

By Michael Upton | 10/07/2017

Driving test changes “don’t go far enough”
Amanda Stretton

CHANGES to the driving test do not go far enough to cut safety risks, according to a third of motorists questioned over the shake-up.

Three in four drivers drivers believe a motorway driving section and should be introduced and two thirds want to see learners assessed on night driving.

Four out of five also called for driving etiquette to be taught in order to eliminate middle lane hogging, tailgating and to stop people cutting in at the last moment.

The revised UK driving test is due to come into force on December 4 this year.

Changes include ditching the turn in the road (known as a three-point turn) and reversing around a corner manoeuvres.

New additions are being made, such as driving into and reversing out of a parking bay, as well as the driver pulling over to the right-hand side of the road and reversing in a straight line.

Use of a sat-nav and extra time driving independent of an instructor are also on the list.

The Government said it hoped to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured by making the driving test more realistic.

But comparison site confused.com carried out a survey of 2,000 drivers to see what they made of the changes and found many drivers wanted to see more “realistic” factors added.

Half admitted that they would have felt more confident on the road as a new driver if they had been taught to drive on the motorway. 

And two in five said poor driving was caused by new motorists not being taught the necessary skills before they took to the road alone. 

Motorists also want to see more advice given on getting the best deals on car insurance, petrol, parking, car finance and car maintenance so new drivers have a better insight into the realistic cost implications of driving.

Tailgating (highlighted by 65 per cent of voters), lack of indicating when turning or changing lanes (64 per cent), hogging the middle lane (52 per cent) were identified as the most annoying driving habits.

Some driving instructors also disagree with the changes to the test in December.

Hundreds have signed a petition calling for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to abolish the new manoeuvre described as parallel parking into oncoming traffic, calling it a “dangerous exercise”.  

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: “It is worrying that one in three drivers believe these new changes are still not going far enough.

“There is a valid argument that new drivers should be taught general road etiquette and how to treat fellow drivers. 

“This could help to minimise stress levels, road rage, and the risk of accidents, providing all drivers an easy ride.”