DVSA Consultation: Improving the Car Driving Test

Response from ADINJC

Approved Driving Instructors National Joint Council

August 2016

Chairman: Lynne Barrie MA

16 Grosvenor Close, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS14 9SR

01543 256578

www.adinjc.org.uk

chairman@adinjc.org.uk

The ADINJC is also a member of NASP (National Associations Strategic Partnership) and fully supports their collective statement. This response expands on that statement to include ADINJC views.

ADINJC Representation:

The ADINJC currently represents approximately 7,500 ADIs and PDIs nationwide.

Gathering our views:

The ADINJC has circulated the consultation document to members via our newsflashes, emails to our member local associations and groups and in our monthly newsletters and on social media. We have also held meetings at local associations as well as our association meetings for groups. We have conducted webinars and written articles for members to view. We have invited and received many comments from our members. We have spoken to members who have taken part in the trials. As a democratic association we have listened to our members and taken a majority view.

Publication of ADINJC views and questions answered:

We agree that our response can be published and we have answered all of the relevant questions raised in the consultation.

STATEMENT:

Whilst we support the proposed changes we are most concerned that the examiner training required to introduce them will mean that fewer resources will be devoted to delivering practical driving tests: resulting in even longer waiting times. There is no point changing the test if candidates still face such lengthy waiting times.

We therefore recommend that these changes are not introduced until the average waiting time for car practical tests is below 7.4 weeks the target in the DVSA business plan 2016-17 and we expect to see the waiting time target reduced to 6 weeks in 2017-18.

 

Consultation Questions:

We are responding in the capacity of a large national association for driving instructors and potential driving instructors. We have 7,500 members.

  1. Have you taken part in the trial of the new test, in the capacity of an ADI (answers only
    requested from ADIs)?
    Many of our members and some of our Governing Committee have taken part in the trials and we have kept in close touch with them. Those members have not made negative comments, merely ways in which it could be further enhanced.
  2. Have you taken part in the trial of the new test, in the capacity of a learner/
    accompanying driver (answers only requested from learner/newly qualified/ accompanying drivers)?
    Not relevant
  3. Do you agree with the proposal to increase the independent driving section of the test
    from 10 to 20 minutes?
    Yes, this is a welcome move because it will help a learner driver feel more comfortable to drive without an accompanying driver in the car.
  4. Do you agree with the proposal to include the use of sat navs in the independent driving section? Yes.
  5. Have you any comments on the proposal to include the use of sat navs in the independent driving section? Members are happy with this and feel it is an essential part of learning to drive as a day to day navigation tool. Those on the trials said it made the test more realistic, allowed the test routes to go out further and avoided the numerous move offs in the current test. The only negative comments we received were about where they would be placed in the car.
  6. How often do you replace your sat nav? Not relevant
  7. Do you agree with the proposal to modify manoeuvres so they take place during the
    natural course of the drive and augmenting them with new, realistic exercises?
    Yes
  8. Have you any comments on the proposal to modify manoeuvres so they take place during the natural course of the drive and augmenting them with new, realistic exercises?
    The new manoeuvres represent real life situations which should be included in any basic
    driver training programme particularly as they are also core competences stipulated in the National Standard for driving cars and light vans (category B). The vast majority of members are happy with the new manoeuvres. However we have had members who are very concerned about the pull over to the right and reversing back in a line. They have concerns about the risks involved when so many learner cars will be carrying out this manoeuvre and have also said they consider it is not best practise to park facing against the flow of traffic. They also mentioned concerns about this manoeuvre in the dark on lessons. Some members had concerns about using public car parks on test and pulling forward into a bay. Their concerns were around how the public will conceive the idea. A few members mentioned that they would prefer the test to be 1 of the 6 manoeuvres so they could all be taught and just one tested.
  9. Do you agree with the proposal to change the format of the vehicle safety questions so that one of the two questions is asked while on the move? We feel this is a sensible proposal as new drivers will need to use the auxiliary controls on the move in real life situations. In fact a few members suggested they were asked 2 on the move questions and one stationary one. We understand the examiner will ask these questions at a relevant time.

Conclusions:

This is a welcome improvement to the test to enhance new driver skills. We would also want to see these changes being introduced to the ADI Part 2 ability to drive test and to other vehicle categories. We are very encouraged by the responses from our members who have taken part in the trials.

ADINJC fully support the NASP statement that has been released. We look forward to these changes once the wait for car driving tests is reduced below 7.4 weeks.

Response from: The National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP) (PDF)