I am always banging on about how the current UK driving test needs real changes. Now it seems a survey by Ford and backed up by the DIA (Driving Instructors Association) has revealed that a staggering 67% of current drivers doubt their own abilities if they were to be re-tested.
That figure actually increases to 73% for 17-24 year olds. My issues with the driving test as it stands now falls into 3 different, but very serious flaws. In my opinion in order to pass and be issued with a driving licence the current testing should include;
1; Motorway driving; It’s ridiculous to think that you could pass your test and drive from the test centre straight onto a 4 lane motorway having NEVER driven on one before. It amazes me that this has been allowed to happen for so long and even more astonishing that insurance companies are willing to insure ANY driver that hasn’t demonstrated competence on the fastest roads in the UK.
2; Skid Pan training; How many flooded hidden dips do we see in the UK, how much snow did we get last winter, what happens when you get some grease on the roads, or when you get a puncture, these are all retorical questions of course but the list would go on if I was allowed to more server space for this post.
Under current testing conditions, no driver is expected and again to demonstrate skill in adverse conditions such as aquaplanning, loss of brakes etc etc (I really could go on all night).
3: A provisional re-test after 3 months. This would be what the ‘P’ plate would be used for and enforced by law. After passing the initial driving test the new driver would be allowed to drive for 3 months. At which point that driver would be re-tested to make sure they are still competent. If during this time they pick up any points or fines they they would face further restrictions or re-testing etc.
This all may seem a bit militant and old-man ish, but when you think about it your vehicle is a very big, very heavy killing machine in the wrong hands. We at R&W would be really interested to hear your thoughts on this.
One more thing to think about here is under current driving test conditions at no point is the driver tested at night in dark hours….