BRAKING NEWS...... in the industry
In September, we let you know about the work we've been doing to create an app to mark driving tests digitally.
As part of the gradual roll out, from today (9 October 2019) a few examiners will be carrying out driving tests using the app, instead of the paper DL25.
We’ll carry out a small number of driving tests, taking on board any feedback.
We'll keep you updated as more driving tests are conducted digitally. Find out more about the work we've done to develop the app.
New tools for instructors
DVSA is updating and improving tools for driving instructors to help them prepare new drivers for a lifetime of safe driving.
Find out what's being updated and when in our latest blog post from Sarah Scott, DVSA Deputy Head of Publishing.
Sarah also explains how you can apply to join the team working on our learning materials. How we're giving driving instructors better tools to help their pupils
Developing an app to electronically record driving tests
Since we launched our 5 year strategy in 2017, we’ve been working to become a digitally-enabled organisation.
We want to provide modern, efficient and sustainable technology to support a mobile workforce and build brilliant digital services for our staff and customers.
Part of this work is developing an app to be used by driving examiners to record driving tests electronically.
Our latest blog post from Mark Magee explains more about this work and how it will benefit candidates taking their test.
Read 'Developing an app to electronically record driving tests'
New address for driving test expense claims
From today (16 August 2019), the address candidates send their out-of-pocket expense applications to will be changing.
The new address will be:
PO Box 349
Any applications sent to the old address from today will not be processed.
The address for applications for a cancelled theory test is not changing.
When to claim for out-of-pocket expenses
Your candidates are able to apply for a refund of out-of-pocket expenses if their theory test or driving test is cancelled at short notice.
‘Short notice’ means less than 3 clear working days’ notice. Working days do not include Sundays and public holidays.
Today (20 August 2019) Highway Code annex 7 on providing emergency care has been updated.
This is following new guidance from the British Burns Association. See the full rules changes to the Highway Code
Our latest Despatch blog post is about how we've worked with telematics company Trak Global Group and Highways England to develop a smartphone app for learner drivers.
The app is designed to help improve the amount of practise learners have before taking their test. Read 'Developing a smartphone app to help learner drivers'
Over the last year, DVSA staff have worked hard to help everyone stay safe on Britain's roads.
Our annual review tells the stories of how some of our staff, through their commitment and professionalism, have made a difference to road safety. It also lets you know about some of the work we'll be doing over the next year.
Read our annual review 2018 to 2019
We've also published our annual report and accounts which sets out what we achieved last year.
Read our annual report and accounts 2018 to 2019
Follow us on Instagram!
We’ll be sharing our highlights from last year and promoting the great work our staff do every day, on our new Instagram account. You can find us at @DVSAGOVUK
Highway Code rule 258 has en updated to provide details about red ‘x’ signs on motorways.
See the full rules changes:
Motorways - Motorway signals (255 to 258)
We’re launching a campaign to encourage learner drivers to increase the amount of practise they have driving on country roads, driving independently and driving in the dark.
Find out why we’re doing it, and how we’ll work with the driver training industry.
How we’re planning to encourage learner drivers to broaden their practice
Today (19 July 2019) the Department for Transport (DFT) has published its road safety action plan.
The plan sets out a number of steps aimed at reducing the number of people killed or injured on our roads. It focuses on 4 main groups; young road users, rural road users, motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users.
As part of the focus to reduce the number of young road users killed or seriously injured, DfT has committed to:
- DVSA launching a campaign to encourage learner drivers to spend more time practising on different roads
- review the national standards to make sure they're up to date
- refresh all learning materials and publish an online driver record
- review guidance on carrying out mock tests for your pupils
- commission further research into graduated licences and a graduated learner scheme
Find out more about what's planned on GOV.UK.Watch out for more information
Over the next few weeks we'll be sharing a series of blog posts with you, which explain more about what these commitments mean for you and the driver training industry.
If you haven't already, sign up to get email alerts when we publish a new blog post.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced today (18 July) that it will explore if graduated driver licensing - or a similar scheme - should be introduced in England.
The scheme could put restrictions on new drivers, such as a minimum learning period, not driving at night, or not driving with passengers under a certain age in the car.
1 in 5 new drivers crash within their first year on the road, so any changes would be designed to help reduce this number and improve road safety.
Top 10 reasons people failed the new driving test in the first year
Today (17 July 2019) we've released the top 10 reasons people failed the new driving test in its first year.
The data, which covers 4 December 2017 to 3 December 2018, shows that insufficient observation at junctions and not using mirrors effectively when changing direction accounted for 368,047 test failures.
Driver awareness Video
Thought-provoking new videos are being launched today to encourage learner drivers to be more aware of motorcyclists.
They’ve been made with the help of road safety campaigner and keen biker Ria Brisland, whose son Nick tragically died in a motorcycle collision.
The videos will become part of DVSA’s official learning materials and education products. They will help to improve the safety of motorcyclists, by encouraging learner drivers to be more aware of them when driving.
Read the full news story on GOV.UK
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."
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. (No longer valid)
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
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