Will the government’s new driving test proposals improve road safety?

driving test

Published on 16 November 2015 by Gill

Road users are being invited by the government to submit their views on new plans to reform the driving test across the UK.

Currently, only 21% of practical driving examinations result in a first time pass, something which the Department for Transport (DfT) clearly wants to address with what it describes as the “biggest shake up of the driving test in a generation”.

The key highlight of the plans is a cashback incentive in the form of a deposit which is to be refunded if the candidate passes. This, the DfT says, will result in learners being better prepared and thus a safer presence on the roads once they have passed.

The consultation also sets out proposals to:

  • introduce more driving test appointment times, including weekends and evenings
  • offer tests from a range of venues
  • review fees for all services provided by motoring agencies
  • change providers for some services
  • combine services at motoring agencies

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “We want to make learning to drive safer and more affordable. This change will give those who pass first time some money back and provide an incentive for learners to be more prepared before they take their test.

“This consultation is a really important step and we want to hear all views.”

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “We support measures that will encourage learner drivers to get the experience they need to pass their test first time with flying colours, rather than barely scraping through or failing and having to repeat the process a few months down the road at yet more expense.”

The consultation is also looking at ways to reduce the shortage of large goods vehicle drivers, one of the biggest challenges being faced by the haulage industry today.

Take part in the consultation here: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/motoring-services-strategy-a-strategic-direction-2016-to-2020