Pupil performance in managing riskier manoeuvres has improved since this was introduced to the Category B test last December.
Latest test statistics show that driving faults for moving away safely have reduced by 3.4%. This indicates candidates now have greater awareness of the risk of moving away from the side of the road and how best to manage it.
Observation driving faults on the forward park in the car park are 1.2% lower compared to turn in the road. Both exercises have the same skill set, despite the forward park being conducted in a ‘live’ environment. This also suggests an improvement in candidates’ awareness of their surroundings while carrying out the manoeuvre.
Though road safety stakeholders supported the test changes, some trainers in the ADI community (and even examiners’ unions) initially expressed concern about the pull up on the right manoeuvre. They felt it was ‘too risky’ and could even be encouraging a contravention of the Highway Code.
DVSA explained that the changes were necessary, as drivers would need to be able to complete these manoeuvres when driving on their own. The changes would allow examiners to better assess a candidate’s ability to manage such risk in ‘real life’ driving.
The positive reduction in faults in this area, compared with the old-style test, points to an increase in candidates’ awareness of the risk and a greater ability to manage that risk.
Carly Brookfield, DIA CEO, commented:
“Despite the majority of the industry getting behind the changes, there were trainers who were opposed to the introduction of this manoeuvre. They may well remain cynical, and point to decreases in faults being minimal. However, any positive shift in a candidate’s ability to identify and better manage the real risks of independent driving should be welcomed – and are an early and encouraging indicator of the efficacy of the new test.”
Gordon Witherspoon, DVSA’s Deputy Chief Driving Examiner, commented:
“I would like to thank ADI’s for embracing the changes to the driving test and acknowledging the positive impact they will have on helping to keep Britain’s roads safe. It’s great to see the improvement in learner drivers’ awareness and risk management and how new drivers are more prepared for driving on their own once they pass their test. These were some of the goals when these changes were introduced.”
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