GEM says “Driving Test Changes Will Keep New Driver’s Alert”

Posted on September 21st, 2010 by GEM Motoring Assist

Now in its 75th year, the UK driving test is to see the introduction of two new procedures to further assess the ability of new drivers. Road Safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is fully supporting the changes and believes they will be extremely beneficial in making new drivers more in control, more alert and safer as they take to the roads alone for the first time.

As part of the new test, candidates will only have to perform one manoeuvre instead of the current two. GEM’s Chief Executive, David Williams MBE, comments: ‘‘Whilst manoeuvres are obviously an important part of driving, it seems logical that by testing just one, candidates will have more
driving time on the roads, experiencing more junctions and roundabouts which are usually the areas where new drivers are less confident and serious accidents are more likely to happen.’’

The second introduction includes a portion of independent driving which means learners will be given no prompts during a section of the test, but will have to follow street signs or a set of directions. David Williams continues: “With many drivers relying on technology such as satellite navigation to find their way to their destination, the old fashion way of using a map and reading road signs is fast becoming out of date. Whilst for the most part they are useful, it is important that new drivers remain fully alert and are able to demonstrate that they can follow signs on their own and not rely on other people or gadgets to help them. ”

Other possible changes considered included scrapping the Pass Plus scheme, lowering the drink drive limit even further for new drivers to 20mg per 100ml,
introducing a driver attitude test, implementing a minimum learning time of 12 months to match the rest of Europe, re-testing drivers every five or 10 years, introducing a compulsory observer driver scheme (already an option as of April 2010) and motorway testing. These, however, will not be implemented as of the 4th October.