A Driving Instuctors Thoughts on the DfT Independent Report Leak

Whilst trawling the interweb for the recent gossip on the driving instructor world I came across an article in the Independent on Sunday and an interesting read it made. An article they wrote states they allegedly have a leaked report from the Depart for Transport (DfT) listing many of the changes the Conservatives want to push through and they quote that it will be the biggest changes since the driving licence reforms in 1935.

The report is to form the basis of the 3 motoring agencies for the future and include,

• More flexible test slots including evenings and weekends to reduce waiting times for tests

• Bringing the private sector in to conduct tests

• To raise the test pass rate above 50%

• The first MOT for a car being raised to 4 years instead of the current 3

• Raising the self-declaration age of being fit to drive from 70-75

• Redundancies at DVLA and DVSA as back office functions, including HR and call centres are to be merged

• Raising fees for non-essential services such as personalised number plates

• Examiners to take photos of people who have passed their driving test

• Review of the driving test

Arguably the biggest would be to privatise the practical examining service. Forget politics and think about how this will affect the service. Generally if there is completion the service provided is of better quality and more available. I personally think that this can only be a good thing. This is a controversial step as many people’s politics do not want to see anything privatised but it has proven to work. The DVSA presently outsource the management of the theory tests to Pearson Professional Services and have reduced the cost of the theory down from £32 to £23 in the last few years, without impacting on the service.

One of the less important topics but could cause some issues is examiners taking pictures of candidates after they have passed their driving test. I must say that as an ADi it can be difficult for me to get them to allow me to take a picture let alone a driving examiner. I’ve often heard the words “not a chance, I look like a right minger” or “not with my hair like this, you’re not”. All very amusing but the examiners might have a fight on their hands to get pupils to allow them to do it but on second thoughts if they know they are going to have their picture taken they may turn up looking like they are ready to go clubbing.

The review of the driving test is already under way and does have some controversial changes, including:

• Use of Sat Navs

• Safety Check questions on the move

But most driving instructors would agree that getting rid of the “turn in the road” and “reverse around a corner” are definitely good points.

You can read the full article at: www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/conservatives-plot-a-motoring-revolution-draft-report-reveals-biggest-reform-to-regulations-since-10478419.html

Image source: Clément / Flickr - Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons 2.0

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