Plans for New UK Driving Test Rules Have Been Shelved

You may well have seen on the news over the last couple of days that the Government - in particular the Department for Transport - has decided to shelve the proposed changes to the UK driving test, along with new rules for drivers under the age of 30.

In October 2013 the Transport Research Laboratory issued a report suggesting that education along with other rule changes could be the way to reduce the amount of young people being killed or seriously injured on UK roads.

Some of these proposals included,
  • Taking at least a year to learn to drive
  • A minimum amount of hours of tuition – proposed amount is 100 hours, 20 hours of this at night.
  • Only Driving Instructors being able to teach people to drive
  • Compulsory Motorway Tuition
  • Having to drive with a green “P”
  • Road skills being taught in schools as part of the National Curriculum
  • And probably the most controversial imposing a curfew on driving between 22:00 and 05:00
Agree with these or not, we all understand that something needs to be done to reduce the amount of deaths on the roads today. 20% of the deaths on the road in 2012 were people between the ages of 17 and 24 (DfT Statistics).

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "The number of young people being killed on our roads is far too high and we want to do all we can to tackle this issue. But it is vital we strike a balance between safety and not unduly restricting the freedom of young drivers. This is a crucial issue and we are determined to get it right so we have decided we need more time to undertake further work to better understand the issues."
I am appalled to find out that the DfT think that shelving proposed changes, along with the chance to save lives as acceptable under any circumstances. I appreciate that administration changes need to be done properly and to ensure that the right outcomes are achieved and monitored, but to shelve them? I cannot see a time when anyone’s life is worth less than any reason they could possibly put forward.

I believe that this decision is more about getting their own house in order than making the right changes, as the DfT would have us believe. You may recollect that recently the Driving Standards Agency and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority have been merged and management teams within both organisations are fighting for the depleted management jobs.

Recent changes to cut costs have seen each driving test centre lose its manager only to be replaced by the newly named driving test manager - who manage several test centres and a lot more staff. Yet another change to save money! Unfortunately we will probably see the decline in test quality fall due to lack of management, leading to more lives lost on the roads in the UK.

I call on the Government and in particular the DfT and say “Stop playing with the lives on young drivers, make the changes necessary to reduce the loss of life on our roads and do it NOW!”
Plans for New UK Driving Test Rules Have Been Shelved Plans for New UK Driving Test Rules Have Been Shelved Reviewed by The Driving Guru on Thursday, May 22, 2014 Rating: 5

1 comment

  1. Tony,
    I think a lot more work needs to be done with the kids once they have passed their tests and are on the roads. Freedom in the hands of a 17yr old can be intoxicating (as it can be to us all!)
    Keeping the lines of connection and communication open. Developing Driver education after test and for a certain period is something I would prefer. What ever the age but this must be balanced by cost as well.

    ReplyDelete

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