Practical Driving Test Trial update from the DVSA
The findings, from the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), are based on responses from 1,039 drivers from the 'learning to drive' survey, in addition to data gathered from focus groups and interviews.
In terms of overall progress, the trial is going very well. The trial currently has 852 ADIs and over 4,500 learners registered and taking part.
As the trial has exceeded its original targets for participating candidates and passes in both the trial and control groups, registration closed in late January for ADIs and in early March for learner drivers.
Feedback from those involved in the trial has been overwhelmingly positive, with ADIs, successful candidates and supervising drivers all in agreement that the new test was a better preparation for post-test driving than the current test.
Whilst it is very early in the research to draw any conclusions from the trial, first indications have identified that learners:
Had a driving style that was less 'decisive, experienced, confident and fast', and was therefore safer and more considered
Had greater confidence that they could safely use a sat-nav
Spent more time on fast dual carriageways with their ADI when learning.
Over and above the proposed changes, the trial also represents a timely study of the driving test, and will provide invaluable data to road safety practitioners across Great Britain to increase our understanding about learning to drive.
Whilst the findings may suggest ADIs, successful candidates and supervising drivers all in agreement that the new test was a better preparation for post-test driving than the current test this doesn't necessarily prove that drivers are any safer and more able after they passed. We would argue that having greater confidence in the use of a sat-nav when driving is suggesting people are less able to plan through more effective observation and planning skills.
Also, surely they have used the wrong word when they say 'less' decisive, confident, experienced. The word should surely be 'more' If less is correct, then how can the conclusion be that it's going well?
What do you think?
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