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New-style driving test comes into effect today

The recently revised driving test will “big safety benefits and save lives”, says IAM RoadSmart, by including more real life situations and introducing new drivers to the latest technology.

New style driving test will ‘deliver big safety benefits and save lives’ says IAM RoadSmart

New style driving test will ‘deliver big safety benefits and save lives’ says IAM RoadSmart

The Government announced the plans to update the current driving test on 30 Decemer 2016 and come into effect today, 4 December 2017.

Learner drivers taking the new test are said to be more confident and gain “slightly” more driving experience on country roads and dual carriageways.

The changes include the following:

  • Independent driving part of the test will increase from 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Following directions from a sat nav.
  • Reversing manoeuvres will be changed (reverse around a corner and the turn in the road will no longer be tested), but you will be asked to do one of three possible reversing manoeuvres instead including parking in a bay.
  • Demonstrating vehicle safety knowledge while you’re driving.

And from 2018, learners will be allowed to take motorway driving lessons with an approved instructor.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “New drivers with relevant skills and more experience can only be good news for road safety.”

However, not everyone thinks the changes go far enough and are already out-dated, with the likes of John Lewis announcing earlier this year that the shop will no longer sell sat navs.

Finlay Clark, UK’s head of Waze sais: “It’s surprising for the DVSA to test drivers with technology that is already outdated.

“Changing the test to reflect more real-life situations is a positive move. Whilst sat nav safety is not specially tested, we encourage driving instructors to help teach the next generation of drivers phone safety so they can use their navigation app safely and legally at the wheel.”

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Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.