Worst learner drivers test attempt numbers revealed

 

England’s 20 worst learner drivers have attempted the practical test more than 700 times between them, it has emerged.

Figures released by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) show how one 38-year-old Liverpool man took 39 goes to pass the driving test.

Heckmondwike, in Yorkshire, accounted for a fifth of the top 20 practical test repeaters.

The Driving Instructors Association questioned whether people should be able to sit tests so many times.

DVSA’s chief examiner Lesley Young said: “The result of their test is entirely dependent on their performance on the day.

“It’s essential that all drivers demonstrate they have the right skills, knowledge and attitude to drive safely.”

Worrying rise in used car finance problems

A new survey has shown that more cars are showing outstanding finance after they are sold, which a buyer can be held responsible for.

48% of all checks in January 2016 flagged up at least one issue, up by 6% on the same month in 2015. This could be anything from a perfectly legal registration plate transfer to a major issue such as a previous write off.

No Change There

More than half of the drivers do not know how to change a tyre, while 28% do not know how to open their car bonnet, according to research by leasing Options. Less than (24%) of 18 to 24 year olds know how to change a tyre on their vehicle.

The Long Wait

The rise in practical driving tests waiting times continues, despite statements from the DVSA  that the matter is being addressed urgently, and that a recruitment drive for more examiners was in full swing.

Patron of the ADI National Joint Council, Quentin Willson stated; “With lead in times for driving tests now running at four months, we’re making learning to drive much more stressful”

What’s putting the brakes on driverless cars?

Ethical dilemmas

Our driverless cars will be programmed to avoid collisions, especially with people. But suppose a mother pushing a buggy steps out into the road suddenly and the car does not have enough time to stop.

Who’s to blame?

While law-abiding driverless cars, with all their cameras, sensors, radars and faster-than-human reaction times, could undoubtedly help reduce accidents (90% of which currently caused by driver error), no-one is foolish enough to believe that they will be flawless.

The technology isn’t good enough yet

Many semi-autonomous technologies are already available in today’s cars, from emergency braking to cruise control, self parking to lane keeping. This year, Ford is also planning to introduce automatic speed limit recognition tech andDaimler is hoping to test self-driving lorries on German motorways.

Do we even want them?

The global success of BBC’s Top Gear is just one indication of just how much we love cars and driving. Rightly or wrongly, many of us love the thrill of speed and the sense of freedom cars give us. Being in control is an important aspect of that.

But in the driverless world we become passive and disengaged; the car is reduced to a commodity, a mere tool for mobility. Where’s the fun in that? Driver surveys suggest we are at least ambivalent about the technology.

Proposed new driving test

Follow a sat nav instead of the examiner

For around 20 minutes of the driving test you will be asked to follow directions given to you from a sat nav. This is being done to make the test more realistic. The sat nav will be provided and the examiner will always be ready to step in and direct should the sat nav have any problems.

 

Two new manoeuvres

Instead of doing a turn in the road (three point turn) or reversing around a corner you will be asked to complete one of two new manoeuvres or parallel parking.

– Driving forwards into a parking bay and then reversing out

– Pull up on the right hand side of the road, reversing a short distance and then rejoin traffic

 

Show me question on the move

You’ll be asked do the show me part of show me/tell me on the move. For example you could be asked to demonstrate how to wash the windscreen or operate the heater while you are driving. This is currently done at the start of the test when you are sitting still.

 

No more paper counterpart

From today (8 June 2015), the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence is being replaced by an online service

This will save motorists millions of pounds and change the way they share their information with employers and car hire companies.

The paper counterpart includes information on a driver’s penalty points along with details of what vehicles they can drive. Drivers still need to keep their actual driving licence, whether it is a plastic photocard licence or an old style paper licence which was issued before 1998.

Driving Examiner Strike

On Thursday 10th July some driving examiners may be taking industrial action.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are encouraging all candidates to attend if they have a test booked. The strike only affects those examiners who are members of the Public and Commercial Service Union and the DVSA are doing everything possible to ensure as many tests as possible go ahead.

If your test is cancelled your test will be automatically re-booked and you will be able to claim expenses from the DVSA. If you do not turn up for your test you will have to pay for another test and you will not be able to claim expenses. 

Please note that theory tests are unaffected.
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Graduated Driver Licensing Survey

68% of adults polled by Ipsos MORI for the RAC foundation support the idea of a graduated driver licensing system for drivers aged 24 and under.

 

A graduated driving licence would impose restrictions on newly qualified drivers for a limited period (commonly 12 months).  Many countries already use this system and it could include restricting:

 

  • the number of passengers
  • the time of day you drive
  • the maximum speed you can travel

 

The idea behind the restricted licence would be to give you time to gain valuable experience before doing the activities that could put you at a higher risk.

 

The government have previously said that they would look into producing draft legislation for newly qualified drivers but they have recently been accused of dragging their heels.