DVSA timing study of practical tests

The DVSA will be carrying out a timing study of the driving test from 16 July until October 2018 across 127 test centres.
We’re carrying out the study to help make sure the new test is as efficient and effective as possible.

How it will work
Trained driving examiners and specially trained timing study observers will work as a team to monitor the overall time taken to conduct the test.
The driving test examiner will greet the candidate in the waiting room as normal and introduce anyone accompanying them before the test starts.
The accompanying study observer will sit in the back of the car and time how long various aspects of the test takes.
This includes things like setting up the sat nav or completing a manoeuvre. It is the only the task that will be timed, not the examiner or the candidate.
There will be no additional scrutiny of the candidate taking their test, and the accompanying observer won’t take part in the test.

Driving test regulations
Regulation 38 of the DT1 states that any person authorised by the Secretary of State can attend for supervision of the test or otherwise.
Anyone in the public service of the Crown, such as a driving examiner or timing observer being paid to carry out this role is authorised by the Secretary of State to supervise a test.

Refusing an accompanying examiner
It’s important the timing study is carried out across as many different tests as possible to help us accurately capture the information we need.
You should make candidates aware during this period their test might be part of the study.
You shouldn’t refuse to let any additional observers sit in during the test, as they have been given the authorisation to do this.
To help make sure tests continue to run smoothly, you should contact your local driving test manager before the test if your candidate has any specific requirements

Driving test changes: 4 December 2017

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has confirmed that the driving test in England, Scotland and Wales will change from Monday 4 December 2017.

The changes are designed to make sure new drivers have the skills they’ll need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving.

The changes will only apply to car driving tests to begin with.

The 4 driving test changes

1. Independent driving part of the test will increase to 20 minutes

The independent driving part of the test currently lasts around 10 minutes. During this part of the test, you have to drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner.

This part of the test will be made longer, so it’ll last around 20 minutes – roughly half of the test.

2. Following directions from a sat nav

During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav.

The examiner will provide the sat nav and set it up. You won’t need to set the route – the examiner will do this for you. So, it doesn’t matter what make or model of sat nav you practise with.

You can’t follow directions from your own sat nav during the test – you have to use the one supplied by the examiner.

You’ll be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you’re not sure. It won’t matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a fault while doing it.

One in 5 driving tests won’t use a sat nav. You’ll need to follow traffic signs instead.

3. Reversing manoeuvres will be changed

The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but you should still be taught them by your instructor.

You’ll be asked to do one of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres:

  • parallel park at the side of the road
  • park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do)
  • pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic

4. Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re driving

The examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions during your driving test – these are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.

You’ll be asked the:

  • ‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving
  • ‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving – for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers

Driving test changes: plans revealed to improve road safety

The government is committed to reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on Great Britain’s roads.

Changing the driving test will help to do this, by making it a better assessment of the candidate’s ability to drive independently in modern driving conditions.

What the changes are

The changes are to:

  • increase the ‘independent driving’ part of the test from 10 to 20 minutes
  • ask candidates to follow directions from a sat nav during the ‘independent driving’ part
  • replace the ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn in the road’ manoeuvres with more real-life scenarios, eg driving into and reversing out of a parking bay
  • ask 1 of the 2 vehicle safety questions (known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions) while the candidate is driving, eg asking them to use the rear heated screen

Why the changes are important

Road collisions are the biggest killer of young people. They account for over a quarter of all deaths of those aged between 15 and 19.

DVSA wants to make sure that training and the driving test reduce the number of young people being killed in collisions.

These changes have been proposed because:

  • most fatal collisions happen on high-speed roads (not including motorways) – changing the format of the test will allow more of these types of roads to be included in driving test routes
  • 52% of car drivers now have a sat nav -DVSA wants new drivers to be trained to use them safely
  • research has shown that new drivers find ‘independent driving’ training valuable – they can relate it to driving once they’ve passed their test

 

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.”

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.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Britain’s roads are safer than ever before

Official figures show that deaths on Britain’s roads continued to fall in 2013 by 2% to 1,713.  Whilst this is a huge number, it is important to point out that it is half the number of people killed in 2005 and the lowest ever total since records began in 1926.

 

The number of children killed on Britain’s roads also fell to 48 in 2013 (from 61 in 2012) and the number of cyclist fatalities fell from 118 to 109 for the same period.

 

These figures show what is possible with good road safety education, quality driving tuition and proper testing and good driver attitude.  It is by no means acceptable, there is still a long way to go, but at least we are heading in the right direction.

 

One area for concern is motorways.  While they still remain the safest roads in Britain, death rates rose to 100 in 2013 which is an increase of 14%.

 

If you have recently passed your driving test, we would strongly recommend that you take the Pass Plus (which includes motorway driving) or at the very least some motorway driving lessons to make sure that you keep yourself and others safe on the motorway.  For the price of a couple of driving lessons you could save a life.

 

To view the full report, click here.

 

Let’s continue the trend.

More people are learning to drive

Between April 2013 and March 2014, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has announced that 1,477,585 practical car driving tests were taken which is an increase of 2.9% on the previous year.  Over the previous 6 years there had been a decline of 16%.

 

This could be as a result of an improving economy giving people the confidence to invest money in learning to drive and it could also be due in part to people who have put off learning to drive during the recession but now feel that it is an essential skill for them to learn.

 

So if you are thinking about learning to drive, what sort of things should you be considering when choosing a driving school?

 

A good starting point would be to ask yourself whether you recognise the brand, how long has the driving school been trading and what reputation does that driving school have.

 

A common mistake is that people often phone driving schools and ask what their pass rate is, but how can you check?

 

Very few driving schools have a fully accountable system that can list all driving lessons and driving tests and that is why many do not wish to publish their driving test pass rates.

 

At A2Z of Motoring, we can account for every driving lesson and driving test and we are proud to publish our driving test pass rate on our home page, especially because it is nearly 30% above the national average!

 

The best way to find a good driving instructor is to try a small special offer such as our 4 hours for £49.  That way it gives you a chance to try the car and the driving instructor without investing too much money and after 4 hours you should have a good idea if that is the right driving instructor for you.
If you would like to book a driving lesson with us, call us on 0800 30 60 70 today or click on the book lessons now button on the right hand side of this page.

 

 

No more foreign language driving tests

Currently, people are able to take their car and motorcycle theory tests with a voiceover in one of 19 foreign languages, and use interpreters on both theory and practical tests.

However, following a public consolation, the UK’s Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill made an announcement in October that, as of April 7th 2014, test candidates will need to have a good understanding of the English or Welsh language as there will no longer be voiceovers or interpreters allowed in other languages during driving tests.

Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, said:

“We want to make sure that all drivers have the right skills to use our roads safely and responsibly. One area where we can help ensure this is by requiring all test candidates to take the test in English or Welsh, the national languages.

This will help to ensure that all new drivers will be able to understand traffic updates or emergency information when they pass their test. It will also help us to reduce the risk of fraud by stopping interpreters from indicating the correct answers to theory test questions.”

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) consulted earlier this year on a series of proposals reviewing the level of foreign language support available to candidates. This was because of concerns about potential road safety and the risk of fraud, as well as the ongoing cost of providing translations.

Almost 2,000 people had their say on the proposals with more than 70% of the people who responded supported the withdrawal of foreign language voiceovers and interpreters on tests. Many people agreed that a lack of understanding of the national language meant that some drivers may not be able to understand traffic signs, or speak with traffic enforcement officers as well as finding it difficult to read details of the rules of the road.

In addition, there was also support for encouraging candidates to learn the national language to improve social cohesion.

You can read the full report on the consultation.

Candidates with special needs

Candidates with dyslexia or other reading difficulties will still be able to take their theory test with an English or Welsh language voiceover, whilst candidates who are deaf or have hearing difficulties will still be able to take their theory test in British sign language (BSL), or take a BSL interpreter with them on their practical test