Speed Limits and Exam Changes




Well, its been threatened for a while that because of the number of roads deaths, there needs to be changes made to the driving test and also to the speed limits in which we drive.  In an effort to make Britain’s roads the safest in the world, the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) has laid out ambitious plans to overhaul Britain’s road speed limits and improve the driving test process.  So for all of you currently learning to drive read on.

Its publication, A Safer Way: Consultation on Making Britain’s Roads the Safest in the World, has been released for consultation and its recommendations aim to reduce one third of road deaths by 2020.  At present this is only a consultation document, meaning its an idea the government has and they want people opinion to if they think it will work and if the public think it’s a good idea.

The report lists a number of recommendations which include the introduction of 20 mph speed limits near schools and residential areas; the review of speed limits on single carriageway rural roads; and the introduction of new targets, such as halving the number of child road deaths.


The publication also, more importantly looks at the driving test, both the practical and theory elements are recommended for change in an attempt to reduce the number of deaths for newly qualified drivers.  It proposes a new voluntary pre-driver qualification for 14-17 year olds, which can act as partial credit towards the overall theory test.

The theory test will therefore be amended and will also include case studies to examine whether people have actually understood the theory – this will all be included in the test from as soon as October 2009.  Whilst this sounds like even more tests for new drivers, it is simply an effort to make sure new drivers understand why they need to know about such things as observation etc.

The practical section of the driving test will also change to allow the examiner to assess whether the learner can drive independently without instruction.  This seems very little different from the current method of examination, however if you are good enough to be put in for your test you shouldn’t have much to worry about.

These changes, along with many other suggestions, aim to make Britain’s roads safer. Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick explained: “We’ve already made real improvements to the safety of our roads – there are now almost 17,000 fewer deaths or serious injuries in a year than there were in the mid-1990s. But it is intolerable that eight people are still dying on our roads each day.

“The major changes to the driver training and testing process will create better prepared drivers while our plans for the next 10 years aim to make the roads and vehicles they use safer and so prevent many of the terrible crashes which cut short lives and tear families apart.”

You are able to comment on these proposals and make your own recommendations by visiting the Dft website by the 14th July 2009 and let the government know what you think. 

Copyright © Learning to Drive, All Rights Reserved.

 Home    Site Map       Contact Us