March 22, 2011

Driving Test to Change?

Motorway training should be integrated into the driving test to help improve the general standard of driving, according to the Driving Instructors Association which also wants the current Pass Plus scheme integrated into the driving test syllabus.

The DIA is the UK’s largest body representing professional driver trainers and says those applying for a driving test should only be allowed to do so once instructors are confident that candidates have sufficient experience of driving on all the types of road they will encounter when they have a full licence.

The association also wants driving qualifications for qualified drivers need to be developed further. So drivers of company vehicles would have to achieve minimum national occupational standards for driving (currently there is no recognised syllabus for company drivers in category B vehicles). It says the qualifications should also have a shelf life to encourage refresher training.

Another issue that that the DIA wants addressed is the current lack of a formal training syllabus for potential Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) to work to. The DIA’s belief is that there should be a prescribed syllabus to prevent customers wasting their money. The minimum entry level to the industry should also be raised to include recognised teaching qualifications (e.g. Preparing to Teach in the Life-long Learning Sector).

The final change proposed is that all drivers should have their eyesight tested by an optometrist, not at the driving test centre, with drivers’ eyesight checked at least every 10 years. Currently, the responsibility is with the driver to self-certify their eyesight has not deteriorated after the age of 70.

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