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Driving test changes December 2014

Check back here regularly to find out what's going on at On The Road som.

As from December 4th 2017 the driving will be changing!  

The changes include:

  • increasing the independent drive to 20 minutes
  • following directions from a sat nav
  • revising the manoeuvres
  • answering a vehicle safety question while driving

These changes will make sure new drivers have the skills they need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving.

Any test taken on or after 4 December will be the new test.

Real-life manoeuvres

The revised manoeuvres better reflect real-life scenarios and how people drive today.

It’s vital that you know when it’s safe to carry out these manoeuvres, and when it isn’t.

Pulling up on the right

This manoeuvre involves pulling up on the right-hand side of the road, reversing for approximately 2 car lengths and then re-joining the traffic.

While The Highway Code advises not to park against the flow of traffic, it’s a legal manoeuvre that’s carried out by a lot of drivers on today’s roads. You might use it when pulling over to nip into a shop, post a letter, deliver a parcel or even if you live on the right-hand side of the road. So, it’s important learner drivers are trained to do it safely.

You will need to be prepared to pull up on the right when safe to do so, and then reverse. If a vehicle pulls in front then the exercise will continue.

If a vehicle pulls in behind and stops you from reversing, then the exercise will stop and another manoeuvre will be carried out later in the test.

Forward parking in a bay

An essential part of everyday driving for most people is the ability to park safely.

We know that sometimes it can be more convenient to drive forward into a parking bay, such as in a supermarket car park when loading shopping, which is why this exercise is being added to the test.

Managing real distractions

Research shows that 52% of car drivers now have a sat nav so it’s important that drivers can use them safely.

Using a sat nav on the test means that examiners will be able to better assess how you drive independently whilst dealing with distractions.

Before the test starts, the examiner will secure the sat nav on the car dashboard.

The sat nav screen will be on throughout the test but won’t show directions until the independent driving part of the test, when the examiner will activate the pre-loaded section of the route. The sound will be used for the independent driving part of the test unless you ask for it to be turned off.

The sat nav

I’d like to stress that it doesn’t matter what sat nav you use for lessons.

The examiners won’t be looking at whether you can set up and use a sat nav. They’ll be assessing how they manage the distraction while driving.

You can practise with any sat nav, including using a mobile phone as a sat nav. As long as the phone is suitably mounted and you don’t adjust the phone whilst driving, it’s not illegal.

The DVSA will use their own sat navs with stored test routes,

Following road signs

You  may still be asked to follow road signs during the independent drive rather than use a sat nav. It’s important you learn both methods of navigation as 1 in 5 tests will still follow road signs.

‘Show me, tell me’ questions

The “Show me ,Tell me” questions have also been updated ,for the test from 4 December.

The main difference will be that one of the show me questions will be asked while you are driving. But, the main topics have stayed the same.

Changing the routes - improving road safety

The DVSA are committed to reducing the number of young drivers who are killed and seriously injured in road collisions. Most fatal collisions happen on high-speed or rural roads, so we want to make sure that everyone can use these roads safely.

Revising the manoeuvres will allow more of these high-risk roads to be included in driving test routes, as they won’t all need to be carried out on quieter side streets.

Using a sat nav on the test will also help to introduce better routes and different types of roads. Currently restricted to carrying out the independent drive on roads where there are suitable road signs. This is often in urban and built up areas.

Using a sat nav means they will be able to conduct more of the test in more challenging driving environments such as on rural roads where there are fewer traffic signs.


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