LRSC welcomes modernised driving test, but further reform needed

The London Road Safety Council (LRSC) has welcomed the new-look driving test announced by the DVSA last weekend, but is also calling for ‘further significant changes’ to enhance driver training.

The DVSA says the modernised test, which was announced on 15 April, will give newly qualified drivers the skills, knowledge and confidence required to drive on their own.

However, despite backing the changes, the LRSC says more reform is required, including allowing learners to drive on motorways.

Coming into force on 4 December 2017, the new driving test will feature four key changes, including increasing the ‘independent driving’ part of the test from 10 to 20 minutes.

Candidates will also be asked to follow directions on a sat nav as an alternative to following road signs. The DVSA says using sat navs will encourage more practice of independent driving and teach new drivers the skills they need to manage distractions.

Other changes include replacing current manoeuvres such as ‘reverse around a corner’ with more real life scenarios, such as driving into and reversing out of a parking bay; while candidates will be asked one of the two vehicle safety questions while driving, for example, asking them to use the rear heated screen.

Cllr Wendy Brice Thompson, chair of the LRSC, said: “The LRSC welcomes these changes since they reflect more realistically the challenges that motorists face on today’s roads.

“However, there is still much that needs to be reformed in the teaching of young drivers, and if we have to flag up one such issue, let it be motorway driving.

“With Government’s recent consultation on this issue, we hope that the momentum for positive change is not lost and look forward to further significant changes in driver training and the driving test before long.”

20 April 2017