December 1, 2014

The End Of The Turn In The Road?

Some call it tricky, some say it is the easiest manoeuvre. The notorious turn in the road, sometimes incorrectly termed three-point-turn, looks set to be scrapped in the biggest shake-up to the driving test in 20 years.

The new changes being considered would see the doubling of the independent driving section from 10 to 20 minutes to take up half the total length of the practical test. The trial, to be taken by 1,000 learners, will also ask candidates to follow directions on a car satnav ‘as an alternative to using road signs’. The trial will also consider replacing the ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn in the road’ manoeuvres with more ‘realistic’ everyday manoeuvres, such as ‘reversing out of a parking bay’ or ‘pulling up on the left or right before re-joining the flow of traffic’. It could also see candidates being asked one of the two safety questions whilst on the move.

However, motoring groups have argued that removing basic manoeuvres like the turn in the road could be detrimental since they are essential, for example, in situations where satnavs lead you down a dead road, a scenario far from rare.

The driving test has seen a number of changes over its lifetime, from the removal of the requirement for hand signals to the introduction of the theory test and independent driving section in recent years. However, the proposed changes are arguably the most radical over the past 20 years.

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