Driving test to be updated to include satnav training

AA president Edmund King said that following signs is a stricter test of skill then using satnav

AA president Edmund King said that following signs is a stricter test of skill then using satnav

Drivers who want to pass the test will now have to learn to use sat navs in a new shake-up of the rules.

"Ensuring the driving test is relevant in the 21st Century - for example, the introduction of sat navs - will go a long way towards doing this", he said.

Half of all British drivers now have a sat nav installed, and using them teaches drivers to better manage distractions, the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said.

He added: "It's vital that the driving test keeps up to date with new vehicle technology and the areas where new drivers face the greatest risk once they've passed their test".

The sat-nav part of the test is to reflect the DVSA's findings that around 50% of drivers use a sat-nav, although this was the least popular revision in the batch; 29% of the 3900 members of the public polled about the revisions were not in favour of introducing the change.

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which is responsible for driving tests and instructors, said it wanted drivers to experience real-life situations and would also introduce testers asking "show me" and "tell me" questions while learners are driving, as well as at the beginning of the tests, such as asking drivers to operate heating inside the auto while it is moving.

The DVSA says these test sections are aimed at making sure the test is as up-to-date as it can be, while fully evaluating drivers' independent driving skills.

Other changes announced by the DVSA include doubling the length of independent driving to 20 minutes. Results from this consultation will be released later this year.

Learner drivers will be subject to a more modernised driving test from 4 December onwards, with a focus on more current driving styles.

Learner drivers will have to know how to use a satnav, however, and be able to drive independently for longer periods.

About 50 per cent of auto drivers own a sat nav, and plenty more will use Google maps on their phone, and the DVSA (we checked, not the DVLA) chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said it is "vital that the driving test keeps up to date with the new vehicle technology and the areas where new drivers face the greatest risk once they've passed their test".

The new driving test will be used from December 4.

AA has backed the new test. President Edmund King said it will help produce "better, safer motorists" and ensure new drivers are better prepared for driving in real life.

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