It seems that the practical driving test changes from one year to the next. People that passed their test 10 years ago would be baffled by the test of today, and fully qualified drivers on the roads will have been tested for a variety of different skills. Soon, that could all be set to change again.
Long live the three-point turn?
The three-point turn has long been a cause of worry for learner drivers. Yet, unlike parallel parking and reverse bay parking manoeuvres that qualified drivers can almost always find ways to avoid, the three-point turn is a handy skill to know if you end up getting lost or driving into a cul-de-sac.
Now, suggested changes include the removal of the three-point turn from the practical driving test.
In 300 yards, turn left
Satellite navigation systems are now used by a vast majority of drivers. Some rely on them so much that they fail to learn even the relatively short routes that they’ve driven multiple times before, whilst others only use their GPS systems for long-distance driving in new locations. Still, most drivers wouldn’t risk not having a sat nav, whether they’re using their phone or have a dedicated piece of equipment.
Now there are talks to bring GPS devices into the practical driving test, so that learner drivers will need to follow their sat nav’s instructions in order to reach a destination. It’s a modern driving skill, but one that almost everyone will use. It’s hoped that learner drivers will know when to trust their sat nav and when not to, but there’s no doubt that instructors will be checking their driving school insurance more carefully than ever just in case!
The new practical driving test is now being trialled, with the hope that it’ll better reflect real driving situations. The independent driving section of the test will be at least doubled in length, if the plans go ahead. New manoeuvres, to replace the three-point turn and the turn in the road, might include pulling over and pulling back out into traffic. Reversing out of a parking bay might also be included, to test those that avoid the reverse bay park by always driving in facing forward.