The Driving Test is set to change on 4 December 2017.  The 4 changes are being brought into place to update the skills required by new drivers as they embark on a lifetime of driving.  People who have passed their test some time ago often comment that they would struggle to pass the test if they resat it.

The changes are as follows:

1. The Independent driving part of the test will increase to 20 minutes
The independent driving part of the test currently lasts around 10 minutes. During this part of the test, you have to drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner.
This part of the test will be made longer, so it’ll last around 20 minutes - roughly half of the test.

2. Following directions from a sat nav
During the extended period of independent driving most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav.  The sat nav will be provided by the examiner who will set it up and input the route for you to follow. 
You will then need to follow the directions provided by the sat nav.  One in 5 driving tests won’t use a sat nav. You’ll need to follow traffic signs instead.

3. Reversing manoeuvres will be changed
The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ (3 point turn) manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but you should still be taught them by your instructor.

You’ll be asked to do one of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres:
i. parallel park at the side of the road
ii. park in a bay - either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do)
iii. pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic

4. Answering a vehicle safety question whilst you are driving
The examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions during your driving test which are known as the “show me, tell me” questions
You’ll be asked the:

• ‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving
• ‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving - for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers

There is a common perception that road traffic offences are generally committed by the inexperienced driver.

As drivers become more experienced it is sometimes the case that their experience can be replaced with an element of complacency.  We often represent drivers with many years’ experience who are facing an allegation of careless driving.  This is often as a result of what amounts to a momentary lapse of concentration.

If you find yourself facing such an allegation please contact us for an initial free telephone consultation.

About the author

Callum is the head of the Motor and Transport team.  He is a solicitor with over 15 years of experience dealing with road traffic and transport matters.