Wednesday, 7 May 2008

New Driver Safety

This has been rumbling along for some time, with either leaked or hinted suggestions about what the Government's new report might actually contain. Now here's facts!

No secret is that the Hazard Perception Test just hasn't done what was hoped - or perhaps young drivers perceive the hazards but think they have some sort of exclusion from them . . .

A particular conundrum is that young males are better at passing the driving test, but worse after the test!

Some interesting proposals below, but I wonder how schools - with the ever increasing pressure on standards - will cope with additional loading, and how ADIs will accept schools-style 'star ratings' on pass rates.

"Research shows that we must make sure that learners demonstrate not only good skills, but also safe attitudes and proper understanding of road conditions before they are allowed to drive unsupervised. We will build improved learning opportunities and assessments to support these standards, as well as strengthen the quality of driving instruction available. We will also provide new opportunities for learning both before and after the driving test. This will help new drivers become better, safer, motorists and save lives.

Proposals include:
  • A new foundation course, available at schools and colleges, leading to a qualification on safe road use.
  • A more focused and thorough learning process before the driving test, which focuses not just on vehicle control but also the wider skills needed to be a safe driver, from driving in difficult conditions (for example at night or in poor weather) to learning to predict and respond to other road users' intentions;
  • A new training syllabus to ensure learners understand what is required of them to become a responsible driver, enable them to undertake structured and efficient learning and accurately assess when they are ready to pass their driving test;
  • An improved driving test which requires the driver to demonstrate independent driving skills and clear understanding of different situations on the road, with the option of modular assessment;
  • New opportunities to take extra training post test; working with the insurance industry and employers in the driving for work sector we will develop new courses and qualifications to be taken after the driving test that could lead to lower premiums and a better chance of securing a career in the driving for work sector;
  • A star-rating system for driving instructors so that learners can make an informed choice based on pass rates and the level of training instructors have undergone;
  • A review of driving instructor training and testing to ensure they provide a quality service and are focussed on those areas of driving performance that are closely linked to safe driving. "

More web links:

Consultation Paper

DSA 'Learning to Drive' site:

(includes a forum with '0' posts so far)

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