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The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) wants the public to give their views on plans to improve the car driving test.

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.

DVSA has published a consultation asking for views on the changes. The deadline to have your say is 25 August 2016.

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
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