From today (4 June), learner drivers can take motorway driving lessons in a law change intended to improve road safety.
Any motorway lessons learner drivers take will be voluntary and must be with an approved driving instructor in a car with dual-controls displaying L plates.
However, motorway driving is not being added to the driving test as part of this change, and the change in law does not apply to learner motorcyclists.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) says driving instructors will only take learner drivers on the motorway when they have ‘the right skills and experience to drive in a high-speed environment’.
Jesse Norman, road safety minister, said: “Road collisions remain the second biggest killer of young people.
“Allowing learner drivers to have motorway lessons with a qualified road safety expert will help more young drivers to gain the skills and experience they need to drive safely on motorways.”
The DVSA says some newly qualified drivers avoid driving on motorways because they lack confidence, which means they spend more time on ‘challenging’ rural roads where, in 2015, 80% of all young driver deaths happened.
The Government consulted on plans to allow learner drivers to have motorway lessons between December 2016 and February 2017, and received almost 3,000 responses. Click here to see the Government response to the consultation.
Mark Winn, DVSA chief driving examiner, said: “Allowing learner drivers to have motorway lessons was supported by 80% of people who gave their feedback on this change, with the public recognising the importance of developing these skills in a controlled environment.
“I’m delighted that a new generation of drivers can now drive on the motorway to gain valuable experience, including overtaking safely and lane discipline.”
The move to allow learner drivers onto motorways has received support from a number of road safety stakeholders including Highways England, Road Safety GB, the Scottish Government, the AA and RAC.
Changes to the theory test
From 1 May 2018, we'll be changing the way 78 theory test questions are worded, to make them more accessible to everyone.
We've worked with the British Dyslexia Association and the British Deaf Association to develop the changes. We trialled the changes with over 7,000 candidates, who found the revised questions easier to understand.
Main changes to the questions
We've rephrased all of the ‘continuation’ questions in the test. This type of question asks the candidate to choose an answer from a list, to complete a sentence. We're changing the wording so that the candidate has to pick a statement to answer the question instead.
We've also removed long and complicated words, with shorter simpler words. This includes replacing words like 'increased' and 'decreased' with 'bigger' and 'smaller'.
You can find more information on helping candidates with learning difficulties take their theory test on GOV.UK or Safe Driving for Life.
DVSA Official Driving test changes The test will change on December the 4th 2017 see the changes on Youtube.
Drivers caught speeding will face tougher penalties from next week.
District judges and magistrates will have to use new guidelines, which apply to all offenders aged 18 and older and come into force on April 24, 2017. regardless of the date of the offence.
Speeding A new higher penalty will be introduced.
Fines for the most serious breaches will have a starting point of 150% of a person's weekly income rather than the existing level of 100%.
So, if someone is caught doing 41mph and above in a 20mph zone or 101mph on a motorway, where the limit is 70mph, they could be fined 150% of their weekly income.
Fines are determined in categories - a Band A fine is 50% of someone's weekly income, Band B is 100% and Band C is 150%.
The fines are ranked depending on how far in excess of the limit a driver is going. There is a range, and anyone facing a Band C fine could see it upped to 175% of their income. Drivers will also face points, or a disqualification depending on the offence.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has confirmed that the driving test in England, Scotland and Wales will change from Monday 4 December 2017.
The changes are designed to make sure new drivers have the skills they’ll need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving.
The changes will only apply to car driving tests to begin with.
Speeding In Europe from May 7th 2017
British tourists face £640 speeding fines in Europe under controversial new Brussels law.
BRITISH drivers caught speeding in Europe this summer could be fined up to £640 under a controversial Brussels diktat.
By TOM PARFITT
PUBLISHED: 21:14, Wed, Apr 19, 2017 |
Member states have been given new powers to track down UK motorists caught breaking the law on the continent.
The new laws will come into force by May 7, after the UK's two-year exemption has expired.
The EU directive will cover eight motoring offences including speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, and using a phone while driving. Previously, UK motorists could be fined in Europe only if they were stopped by police at the roadside or were in a hire car.
But the new law means European countries will be able to obtain drivers' details through the DVLA database, which records on nearly 40 million vehicles. However, foreign drivers caught breaking the law in the UK cannot be hit with the same penalties due to a legal loophole.
The directive is based on the principle that a vehicle's registered owner should be held responsible for fines.
But in British law, the actual driver of the vehicle is to blame – which may be someone other than the registered owner.
UK drivers should be fully aware of EU traffic offences laws.
"And now that authorities in EU countries can pursue UK drivers committing these offences, we hope motorists are extra careful to avoid breaking the rules.
"We'd advise all those hoping to take a trip to Europe this year to research the local driving rules and requirements before travelling."
Using mobile phones when driving
It’s illegal to use your phone while driving or riding a motorcycle
unless you have hands-free access, such as:
- a bluetooth headset
- voice command
- a dashboard holder
The law still applies to you if you’re:
- stopped at traffic lights
- queuing in traffic
- supervising a learner driver
Learner drivers will be allowed to have driving lessons on motorways with a driving instructor in a car fitted with dual controls.
Learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways before passing their driving test under new plans set out today (30 December 2016) by Transport Minister Andrew Jones.
At the moment, you can only have driving lessons on motorways after you’ve passed your driving test. Some newly-qualified drivers take lessons through the voluntary Pass Plus scheme.
Voluntary motorway lessons with a qualified instructor
Under the new plans, learner drivers would need to be:
- accompanied by an approved driving instructor
- driving a car fitted with dual controls
Any motorways lessons would be voluntary. It would be up to the driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough to have a motorway lesson.
Any change to the law would be well-publicised before coming into effect. Until then, it’s still illegal for a learner driver to drive on a motorway.
Driving instructor training and vehicles
The Department for Transport is also asking for views on whether:
- the current driving instructor training and testing system gives instructors the skills they need to provide motorway lessons to learner drivers
- specially-adapted vehicles must be fitted with dual controls if they’re used for motorway lessons
- L plate roofboxes on cars must be removed before a motorway lesson
The New Car Seat Law
For babies weighing 0-10 kilograms, the Government guidelines advise the following should be used – “lie-flat or ‘lateral’ baby carrier, rear-facing baby carrier, or rear-facing baby seat using a harness”
Babies must be rear facing when in a car – until they are 15 months old. Once this age has been reached, they can sit facing either front or back.
Should your child’s head reach above the top of their current seat, the purchase of a larger seat is required.
Height-based child car seats approved by the EU come with a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle, followed by the code ‘R129’.
It is now a legal requirement that a child sits in a car seat until they are either 12 years old, or measure 4’5”.
Once your child is older they should sit in a backless booster seat – only if they weigh 15kg or more.
However, backless booster seats are banned for those under 4’1” and who weigh less than 22 kg. This only applies to new backless booster – for parents who already own a booster seat there is no legal requirement to buy a new one.
EU-approved weight-based child car seats have a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘ECE R44’.
Fitting Child Seats
Child seats must only be fitted if the car’s seat belt includes a diagonal strap. Unless the follow criteria are met:
The seat has been developed for a lap seat belt
The seat is fitted using a car’s ISOFIX anchor system
Remember to deactivate front airbags is a rear facing baby seat is fitted to the passenger seat.
Child Seat Exceptions
According to the Gov.uk website, there are a limited number of exceptions to when a child can travel legally without the use of a car seat. These include:
Taxis and minicabs – if the driver is unable to provide a correct car seat, children may travel without one if they sit on the rear seat, wearing a seat (if they’re older than 3) or without a seat belt if they’re under 3.
On unforeseen emergency journeys – for a short distance and the child is over 3
If three children are travelling and three cars seats will not fit – as long as the child is 3 or older.
Failure to follow these new rules can result in the driver of the vehicle receiving a fine of £500.
To find out more about the new laws, visit https://www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules
On 6 April 2015 the national speed limit in England and Wales for HGVs increased from 50mph to 60mph on dual carriageways, and from 40mph to 50mph on single carriageways. - See more at: http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/4291.html#sthash.CcvmrNf1.dpuf
Your current driving licence will either be a plastic photocard (accompanied by a paper counterpart document) or alternatively an old-style ‘paper’ driving licence if you have never applied for a photocard.
What's coming in June 2015?
From 8 June 2015, driving licence counterparts (the paper document accompanying the plastic photocard licence) will no longer be issued and counterparts already issued will cease to have any legal status.
NB – old ‘paper’ driving licences (the one issued before photocards were introduced in 1998) are not abolished yet – drivers who hold this type of licence need to keep them and they should not destroy them.
The new procedures
From 8 June 2015 the following will apply:-
- If you hold a current photo card driving licence you should keep and use this
- Whether you have a photo card or old ‘paper’ licence, this is the definitive document telling you and the police what vehicles you can drive
- DVLA will be the definitive location and source where penalty point endorsements are recorded; no endorsements for new traffic offences will be recorded on old paper driving licences or paper counterparts, so these documents should not be relied on by anyone needing to know the status of the licence, for example employers
- When you next renew your licence or where you apply to change your name and address, you will only receive a photo card. (Please remember that your licence must have your correct name and up-to-date address on it).
How to check your driving licence online
If you do not have a counterpart paper licence or an old style driving licence without a photograph how do you check your DVLA driver record for endorsements etc?
You can view your licence using the DVLA’s driving licence facility online. To do this you need to know your driving licence number or your full name, date of birth and gender, your post code and your national insurance number. This facility will inform you of the status of your licence, its expiry date, its issue number, the vehicles you are entitled to drive (and whether this is with full or provisional entitlement) and any penalties and disqualifications.
Sharing your driving licence details with others
For drivers who need to allow others to check their driving licence information e.g. employers, car hire companies etc, there will soon be introduced a new Share Driving Licence service that will allow driving licence holders to provide a one-off access code for a third party to check their driving licence. This will clearly be useful for any business to verify that their drivers have the correct driving entitlement. Unless there is a statutory power to allow this, it will not be possible for a third party to gain continuing access to your driving licence data except where you are the holder of the licence and you grant what will be the one-off access to the DVLA record e.g. to an employer.
Experimental trial of Motorcycles using bus lanes
Under the permission of an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order, from 10th February 2015 for 18 months, motorcycles will be allowed to travel legally along bus lanes in Cardiff.
After 6 months of operation, the situation will be reviewed and a decision will be taken by the Council on whether to make this a permanent arrangement or revert to the previous banned situation. Objections to the experimental Order can be lodged within the first 6 months and these will be considered as part of the decision making process.
CGI makeover for theory test
The hazard perception part of the driving theory test will be updated with computer generated imagery (CGI) from Monday (12 January).
DVSA announced in December that the hazard perception clips in the theory tests will be replaced with new computer generated imagery (CGI) clips.
Filmed video clips are currently used to test candidates' reactions to developing hazards on the road. The scenarios in these clips are still relevant, but the image quality isn't as clear or defined as modern digital technology allows.
No change to how the test works
The first new clips show the same situations as the filmed clips, but are clearer on the screen and include updated vehicles, roads and surroundings to reflect modern day driving.
The way the hazard perception part of the theory test works won't be changing. The pass mark will stay the same.
• feature everyday road scenes
• contain at least one 'developing hazard' - but one of the clips will feature two 'developing hazards'
The fee for car and motorcycle theory tests will fall to £25 for tests taken from 1 October 2014.
Book tests at the new price
The changes apply to theory tests taken from 1 October 2014. You can book tests for this date onwards from 20 August 2014.
You'll have to pay the old fee if you choose a test date before 1 October 2014.
The government is changing the law in 2014 to reduce tax administration costs and burdens associated with vehicle tax.
DVLA will offer motorists the ability to spread their vehicle tax payments should they wish to do so. From 1 October 2014 motorists will be able to pay vehicle tax by direct debit annually, biannually or monthly.
Also from 1 October 2014, the paper tax disc, first issued on 1 January 1921, will no longer be issued and required to be displayed on a vehicle windscreen.
Vehicle tax will still need to be paid but with DVLA having a digital record of who has and has not paid, a paper tax disc is no longer necessary as proof that vehicle tax is paid.
Keep out of Box Junctions and don't ignore Advanced stop lines BBC News Article
Novice drivers: Evidence review and Evaluation Pre-driver training, Graduated Driver Licensing.
Please click Here to download the document: TRL RESEARCH FINDINGS.
End to foreign language driving tests
Driving test candidates will no longer be able to use foreign language voiceovers and interpreters on their test from 7 April 2014.
The move, announced today (10 October 2013) by the new Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill, follows a public consultation.
This will stop from 7 April 2014.
New website to help road users improve their skills
A new website designed to help road users develop and improve their driving and riding skills has been launched.
safedrivingforlife.info has been developed by DSA in partnership with its official publishers, TSO.
Interesting and interactive material
The website is a one-stop information resource which will be rolled out in 4 phases.
It will hold useful, interesting and interactive material for:
• experienced drivers and riders
• professional drivers and riders
Phase 1 includes:
• the learners' section
• Safe Driving for Life shop
• practice theory tests for car, motorbike, LGV and PCV
• a suitability tool for people to test whether they're cut out to be an ADI
Developing the site
The remaining 3 phases will all be launched by this August 2013, but we'll continue to develop the website beyond that, according to our users' needs and interests.
New fixed penalty fines for motoring offencesTailgaters, lane hoggers and mobile users targeted
05 June 2013
From July the police will have the power to issue fixed penalty notices for a number of careless driving offences. The fine for committing these offences has also increased from £60 to £100.
Offences covered by the new law include speeding, tailgating, hogging the middle lane and using a handheld mobile phone at the wheel. Anyone caught doing any of these will be fined £100 and get three penalty points on their licence.
As is already the case, the police will still be able to offer motorists the chance to take part in a driving course in lieu of points.
Speeding up the process
The change will make it quicker and easier for the police to prosecute careless drivers, as they will no longer have to be taken through the court system. However, the most serious cases will still go to court and offenders may face higher penalties.
According to official statistics, using a mobile phone while driving contributed to 374 road casualties in 2011. The new laws aim to highlight the seriousness of these offences.
Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond said: 'Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people's lives at risk. That is why we are making it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice rather than needing to take every offender to court.
'We are also increasing penalties for a range of driving offences to a level which reflects their seriousness and which will ensure that they are consistent with other similar penalty offences.'
The fines for a number or other motoring offences have also increased. For example, non-endorsable offences, such as not displaying a tax disc and stopping on the motorway hard shoulder, have risen from £30 to £50, and driving without insurance now carries a £300 fine, up from £200.
Changes to the theory test: the facts
From 23 January 2012 the theory test will be made up of multiple-choice questions which are no longer published in learning materials.
The reason behind the move is to stop candidates from simply memorising theory test questions and answers and learning by rote.
Revision materials still available
New official driving and riding theory books were published in September 2011 to help candidates prepare for the test and for life on the road.
The new books contain:
- new sections of text for motorcyclists, a free e-book for car drivers and full references throughout to help candidates learn and revise
- questions and answers for revision, including practice for case studies
- the official DSA explanations for every revision question, helping candidates fully understand the answer
This approach to learning will help candidates to gain a better knowledge and understanding of driving theory which will help them respond correctly to the new, reworded live questions used in the actual test.
No changes to the format of the test
No changes are being made to the format of the theory test. It will still be made up of a multiple-choice part and a hazard perception part.
The time allowed and the pass marks will stay the same.
The latest news about motorway training...
Cannott find an official press release with this info however, addressing a meeting Mike Penning (Transport Minister) announced that L drivers would be allowed on motorways from sometime next year.
Motorway training will not be compulsory, but L drivers will be allowed on motorways if accompanied by a qualified ADI.
See story on this:
Space-saver tyres and driving tests
DSA is getting increasing numbers of complaints from candidates whose test didn’t go ahead because of problems with car tyres.
It’s become a common feature of modern cars to be fitted with a spare tyre or space-saver tyre which is a different size in order to save room and weight
DSA would like to remind driving instructors that any vehicle presented for test must be fitted with:
- the same size tyre on the same axle
- tyres that are not subject to speed restrictions
If any tyre is not suitable for the test, the test will not go ahead and the candidate will lose their test fee.
Observer on test etiquette
Get the best performance out of your pupils by brushing up on your observer etiquette. Your ‘observer on test’ etiquette could help or hinder your pupils. Following enquiries from approved driving instructors and suggestions made by DSA examiners, some ‘dos and don’ts’ have been drawn up, just so we’re all clear. We hope the following are helpful…
Turn off your phone
Whether it’s Star Wars or Tom Jones, your pupil’s concentration will be thrown when the ring tone shrills out, so turn your phone off. The fewer distractions, the better.
Lend a helping hand
Helping your pupils lift the bonnet if they are struggling is fine, but don’t interfere unnecessarily.
Take a back seat
Supervising examiners usually regard sitting behind the pupil as the least intrusive. But the best position for you is wherever it’s the most comfortable, so long as you can sit upright with the seatbelt correctly fitted.
Mirror, signal, manoeuvre?
Contrary to popular belief, you won’t have your candidate’s test terminate for naturally looking left, right and behind you. But try not to put your pupil off. And be aware that overzealous nodding coupled with excessive eye contact with your pupil could be construed as some sort of pre-arranged code. In other words - cheating! Don’t be tempted. Prompting pupils by coughing, or nudging the back of them seat is a slippery road to test termination. Examiners do know when instruction is being added - even in another language!
Changing position to improve your pupils’ visibility during the manoeuvre exercises is perfectly acceptable. Constantly moving from side to side to would be very distracting though, so please try to keep movement to a minimum.
By all means take notes to help your pupil. But bear in mind that if your pupil sees you rigorously note taking it might worry them and fill their head with negative thoughts - when actually they might be doing fine.
Last tip. At the end of the test listen carefully to the feedback so that you and your pupil can work together. But don’t be tempted to involve the examiner in discussion. If you do have genuine concerns about the test speak to the local manager, or follow the complaints procedure.
Following the relaunch on 6 April initial indications look promising with a significant increase in the take up of ‘observer on test’. We’ll keep you updated in future editions of Despatch
Watch the video
DSA has published a video on YouTube called 'Take your instructor on your driving test'. video on YouTube. In the video, Cecilia, a media student who passed her test two years ago, talks to learner drivers and instructors about the benefits of taking someone with you on your driving test.
You can watch it by clicking on thelink below .
Watch 'Take your instructor on your driving test' on YouTube.
Practical test online booking and appointment confirmations
From now, you’ll need to provide a contact email address when you book or change your practical test online to receive your booking confirmation.
Booking confirmations for tests will no longer be posted out to you.
If you’re an approved driving instructor (ADI) and are booking a test on behalf of your customer, you’ll need to consider which email address you’d like the confirmation to go to.
No need to bring appointment confirmation
You’re no longer required to bring your appointment confirmation to the test centre on the day of your practical test.
You must still bring the following items – if you don't, the test may not go ahead and you may lose your fee:
- an appropriately insured and licensed vehicle, displaying L-plates (except for taxi and Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) part two tests), that is suitable for the purpose of the test
- the appropriate theory test pass certificate (or confirmation) if you are not exempt; for lorry or bus theory tests, you'll need to bring both your multiple choice and hazard perception pass letters or your overall theory test pass certificate letter
- both parts of your photo card licence - if you don't take both parts of your licence, your test will not take place and you'll lose your fee
- if you have an old-style paper licence, you must take your signed driver licence and a valid passport - no other form of photographic identification will be accepted
- for both modules of the motorcycle test you must present your compulsory basic training certificate (CBT)
- for module two of the motorcycle test you must present your motorcycle module one test pass certificate
There’s no change to theory test bookings and theory test requirements.
Independent driving: the facts
From 4 October 2010, learner drivers will be tested on independent driving as part of the practical driving test.
During their test, candidates will have to drive for about 10 minutes, either following a series of directions, following traffic signs, or a combination of both. To help candidates understand where they're going, the examiner may show them a diagram.
It doesn't matter if candidates don't remember every direction, or if they go the wrong way - that can happen to the most experienced drivers.
Watch a news report about independent driving on Directgov.
Some newspapers have claimed that independent driving would lead to a fall in the driving test pass rate. This claim is based on early research where conditions did not reflect the eventual design of the new element of the test.
Subsequent trials with a larger number of participants and more closely reflecting the conditions in the planned new test showed no significant fall in the pass rate.
Length of driving tests and test fees
The length of driving tests and test fees will not change when independent driving is introduced in October. Driving test fees can be found on the directgov web site.
From October, car test candidates (category B) will have to complete one reversing manoeuvre rather than two. The manoeuvre will be selected at random by the examiner from:
• turning in the road
• reversing around a corner
• reverse parking (either on the road, or into a bay)
An emergency stop exercise will still be conducted on one in three tests.
DSA has published a short video on its YouTube channel explaining more about independent driving.
Watch the video on YouTube.
Major road safety milestone as driving test clocks up 75 years of success
The British driving test marks three-quarters of a century of helping keep people safe on the road when it turns 75 on Tuesday 1 June.
The first car and driving licences were introduced in Britain in 1903. But it was not until 1 June 1935 - amid rising numbers of deaths as the popularity of the car increased - that a compulsory driving test was introduced.
The first driver to pass was Mr J Beene and within a year, the number of deaths on the road had fallen by 1,000.
In 1934, 7,343 people were killed on the roads and there were 1.5 million cars. The latest figures show there were 2,538 deaths on the roads in 2008 when there were around 34 million cars.
Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: “The driving test is not just a rite of passage, it has helped save thousands of lives on our roads.
“The test and the learning needed to pass it are a vital part of giving drivers the skills they need to drive efficiently and safely.
"High standards of driver training and assessment are an essential contribution to helping Britain's roads remain among the safest in the world."
Trevor Wedge, Chief Driving Examiner at the Driving Standards Agency, said: “The driving test still retains some of the original elements included in 1935, such as turning in the road and reversing, but it is updated regularly. We continue to make sure that the test properly prepares drivers for the demands of modern roads.
"This year will see the introduction of independent driving into the test, to help candidates demonstrate their ability to drive without step-by-step instruction. We believe that this added element will lead to better and safer drivers."
Facts and figures:
- the test became compulsory on 1 June 1935, after being introduced on a voluntary basis on 16 March the same year
- the test was suspended during World War II and the Suez Crisis – examiners were put in charge of fuel rationing instead
- until 1975, candidates still had to demonstrate hand signals
- the theory test was introduced in July 1996
Take someone with you on your driving test
From Tuesday 6 April driving examiners will ask candidates if they would like their instructor (or another observer - preferably the person who has taught them to drive) to sit in on their car test and listen to the feedback at the end. However, it is purely the candidate's choice.
TrafficAccidentAdvice offers to provide the highest quality information on comprehensive traffic accident advice. We hope that you will find one or more of interest..
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From 28 September, just one of the new case study questions will be included in each exam for drivers, motorcyclists and moped riders. But the DSA said it wants to include more in future.
The DSA’s director of driver education and learning, Jill Lewis, said: 'Case studies are widely used in education to put learning into context and test comprehension of a subject, so many candidates will have encountered this type of question before.
'Initially we are introducing one case study based on existing questions in the theory test question bank, to get candidates used to the concept. It will also allow us to monitor any impact on the theory test. Over time, we plan to introduce more case studies into the theory test to assess candidates’ understanding of what they have learned.'
Published by the DSA Mon 30/03/2009