Changes to driving tests in 2017 - what you need to know

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Learner drivers will have to get grips with a series of new challenges implemented by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

A well-known manoeuvre has been removed from the criteria and drivers will now have to get to grips with following the commands of a sat nav.

Here's what's changing:

1) There will be more independent driving
This requires a candidate to pull over and follow a set of instructions by the examiner. For example, they may be asked to follow road signs to a certain place or asked to take a series of left or right turns.
Previously, this part of the test only used to be 10 minutes long but under new changes, the driver will be required to drive independently for 20 minutes.

2) You will have to follow a sat nav
Sat Navs used to be banned but now drivers will have to follow instructions read out by the device as part of their test.

3) 'Reversing around the corner' has been removed
Drivers will no longer have to carry out this traditional manoeuvre or a turn in the road as part of their test.
However, it hasn't been completely removed - instead, a more real life scenario could see drivers have to drive into and reverse out of a parking bay.

4) Learners will drive at higher speeds
Candidates will have to drive on roads with higher speed limits in a bid to get them used to driving on single and dual carriageways.

5) 'Show me tell me' questions will be asked while driving
Usually prior to getting behind the wheel on the day of your test, candidates have to answer two 'show me tell me' questions.
This could involve opening up the bonnet and checking the engine oil level or showing how to switch your headlights from dipped to full beam.
However, learners will now be expected to answer questions 'on the go' - so make sure you know how to work those demisters and know where your horn is.

6) Learners will be given more independence
The DVSA wants new drivers to make their own decisions in the car and take responsibility for their own actions.
DVSA chief driving examiner Lesley Young said: "Candidates will be given more responsibility for making decisions during the test.
"We want them to show they can cope with distractions and assess risk without the intervention of their instructor or examiner."

Why have the changes been made?
Road collisions are the biggest killer of young people. They account for more than a quarter of all deaths of those aged between 15 and 19.

The DVSA wants to make sure that training and the driving test reduce the number of young people being killed in collisions.

Also they have noticed that most fatal collisions happen on high-speed roads (not including motorways) so therefore changing the format of the test will allow more of these types of roads to be included in driving test routes.

Furthermore, more than half of motorists now have a sat nav in their car - the DVSA wants new drivers to be trained to use them safely.

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Katrina   Murray , Barrow Saturday, 28 January, 2017 at 12:07PM
I think they need to restrict the bhp or engine size of new driver like they do with motorbikes. Too many young drivers are driving big bhp cars with little experience on how to control them. Surely that would reduce the number of young drivers killed every year.
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Nigel Hugh   Peters , Basildon essex Thursday, 26 January, 2017 at 2:41PM
Yes all changes are very good all but satnav That is I think serves no purpose a machine cannot prevent accidents or collisions on the road if anything it could distract the driver which will cause more problems some people do have satnav s fitted or added not everyone. But all other changes brilliant also more time for independent drive time increased very good idea
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