Govt plans large reforms of the driving test

Govt plans large reforms of the driving test 14th September 2015

The government is set to make the largest reforms to the driving test in its 80 year history, according to a post in the Independent on Sunday, which said Westminster is planning to have an announcement in October which will coincide with the test's birthday. 

Closing test centres, part-privatising the practical exam, upping the age limit for licence renewal and increasing fees for motoring services are all among the big changes that the government is hoping to bring about in the coming months and years. 

The main changes will be designed to make sure that the government can help increase the driving test pass rate, which currently sits at just around 50 per cent. It said that there has been an increase in the number of people who believe they will have to wait a long time for their test thanks to how busy test centres are, so they only take a handful of lessons before they book. 

What this means is that the government will be looking to reinforce its six-week maximum in terms of waiting times. At the moment, the average is eight weeks, which needs to be cut down to make sure that people are able to book a test after having taken a sufficient amount of lessons. 

The Independent on Sunday said that the government plans to do this by introducing an increased number of slots for driving tests, bringing in evening and weekend appointments to spread out bookings and ensure that people can book their test within the timescale they want. 

It will be the latest in a shake-up of the driving test that is also expected to see the practical examination of drivers' skills changed considerably. At the moment, the Department for Transport is trialling a new test that sees drivers have to make use of modern technology. 

The rise of sat navs in cars means that the government wants to test that drivers are able to use them correctly. The trial test involves 20 minutes of independent driving following the instructions of a sat nav before conducting a more traditional test. 

The government document states: "In the 130 years since Karl Benz built the first modern motor car there has been continuous and accelerated development of automotive technology. Such development will doubtless continue, with the prospect of driverless cars now a real possibility."

Posted by Danielle Barge