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Driving test to be revamped

07/06/2010

The UK driving test is to be revamped in an effort to make it more relevant to real world driving situations.

The change, which comes into force in October, is the inclusion of a ten-minute journey that the pupil must make unassisted, known as the 'independent driving' section.

Depending on where the test is taking place, the examiner will tell the learner to either follow signs for a city centre or landmark, or give them a series of directions.

When directions are given, the examiner will also have a set of cards to mark out the route, as a visual prompt for the learner.

The point is not to make learners memorise directions, but to evaluate how they cope with driving as they would after passing the test. Therefore, the examiner will not guide them during every turn and junction.

Early research by the Driving Standards Agency indicated the new section would lead to a fall in pass rates.

However, the learner will not fail the test if they get lost or make a wrong turn. In those circumstances the examiner will guide the learner back on course.

A DSA spokesman said: "Subsequent trials with a larger number of participants and more closely reflecting the conditions in the planned new test showed no significant fall in the pass rate."

Other changes to the test will include more focus on high risk driving, like turning right across traffic and using slip roads. In addition, only one of the three low speed manoeuvres will need to be taken, rather than two.


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