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Revealed: How the UK driving test is a soft touch

Government changes could spell a tougher test for some youngsters

The government hopes that the new rules will help minimise road accidents

The government hopes that the new rules will help minimise road accidents

The government has recently announced plans to change the rules surrounding the driving test in an effort to minimise road accidents, after statistics show that a fifth of drivers killed in the UK are under 25 years of age.

The level of difficulty of the driving test is a hot topic that tends to polarise opinion as examinable features of a test differ based on the location of the test.

In 2012, RED driving school commented that

"[Our] research results suggest that the UK driving test is not as challenging as in other countries and we are fully supportive of making the UK testing process a more rigorous one.”

There are four main proposals that the government have suggested:

  1. The introduction of a minimum learning period for learners, expected to be around one year. (This means that drivers would no longer be able to pass aged 17, although it has been suggested that the age at which you can learn be dropped to 16 to accommodate for this).
  2. Compulsory for some lessons to be taken in adverse weather conditions and on the motorway, in order that the learner gains a more rounded and realistic driving experience before they sit their test.
  3. The probationary period, in which the driver can have their license revoked if they get six or more points, will be extended from 2 years to 3 years.
  4. Young drivers may also be banned from carrying passengers except family members, and may even suffer a night-time curfew, in an effort to reduce the potentially lethal effects of peer pressure.

These advancements come as a stark reality check for teenagers hoping to learn in the coming years. With prices of lessons rising steadily, the compulsory learning period could be an expensive deterrent for those who are capable of sitting the test before the period is up.

Do these proposals show a step in the right direction for reducing road accidents, or is it unfair to punish an entire age group due to the actions of their peers?

About the Author

Jodie Davidson

Staff Writer at Arnold Clark