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Driving Test Changes: Will they Actually Stop More Young People Dying on Britain’s Roads?

Book Theory Test Today’s research this week led us to a very interesting piece in the Yorkshire Post regarding driving test changes. Significantly, the article questions whether changing the driving test will help to save the lives of young people, to which Book Theory Test Today had to write a response.

Driving test changes unveiled

Driving test changes are imminent. Recently, Book Theory Test Today has blogged about the overhaul of the DVSA practical driving test, which is likely to see ‘outdated’ manoeuvres abolished and Sat Navs introduced.

Book Theory Test Today says: “We don’t know for sure if driving test changes will save lives, only time will tell. However, a change is necessary because more and more young people are dying in road accidents every year. But, the changes have to be significant enough to really improve driving skills.”

Young drivers

It’s no secret that drivers aged 16-19 are twice as likely to be killed in a car accident compared to any other road user.

17-19 year-old drivers account for just 1.5 percent of UK licence holders, however, they’re involved in 12 percent of fatal or serious crashes.

The Yorkshire Post piece focuses on Dad, Tony Davison, who suffered the devastation of losing his son to a car crash in 2002. His 18 year-old son, Adrian, was on his way home from a night out with his best friend, but he never made it back.

Speaking about the driving test and proposed driving test changes, Mr Davison said: “We don’t teach young people how to drive, we teach them how to pass a test and that can’t be right.

At the moment you can be handed your driving licence at 1pm and 20 minutes later you can be on a motorway having never before gone more than 50mph.

The introduction of a graduated driving test is long overdue. It works in somewhere like Germany, so there is no reason why it couldn’t work here and it would require everyone to drive in different conditions and to have a minimum learning period.”

Graduated licensing system stalled

However, plans to introduce a graduated licensing system have stalled, despite gaining overwhelming support from numerous motoring organisations.

The Government had indicated that a green paper would be produced regarding the plans, but has since failed to materialise.

“That was about two or three years ago and still nothing,” said Neil Greig, director of policy at the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

He added: “The driving test was first introduced in 1935 and while it has been tweaked a little over the years we really do need to look at it again.

The majority of people learn to drive in towns and cities, but they are simply not prepared for fast, rural roads where the vast majority of fatalities occur. They are often not used to driving in the dark on unlit roads and there is no mention at all about how to deal with peer pressure.

Road safety record

While the UK does have a good road safety record compared to many other countries, there is more that we could do to reduce the numbers killed and injured on the country’s roads.”

Book Theory Test Today says: “Driving test changes are a step in the right direction, but alterations need to focus on real issues that young drivers face today. Neil Greig is right; things like peer pressure and unfamiliar roads are just not covered enough in lessons or testing. It’s not to say that change will make a difference, but unless motoring authorities try, doing nothing will result in more deaths.”

Keep up-to-date with driving test changes, check back with the Book Theory Test Today blog every week.

Book Theory Test Today offers an intermediary service assisting clients with booking a UK theory test, or practical test, at test centres across the nation. The service also supplies resources to help you prepare for your theory test – Ready to take your theory test? Book your theory test online today…

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