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Driving Test Changes Independent Driving

From the 4th of October this year, the DSA is introducing a new independent driving element to the practical driving test.
This will last for approximately 10 minutes and require the pupil to make decision for themselves. It will involve following a series of verbal directions, traffic signs or both and is meant to reflect ‘real driving’.

Here are some questions with answers provided by Rosemary Thew Chief Executive of the DSA

Q: If the candidate goes off route during the independent driving section, will the test be terminated?
A: No. Wherever possible the examiner will get the candidate back on route and continue with the independent driving section. The test won’t be terminated.

Q: Would it be a fault if the candidate takes you off route?
A: No. Just like the current test, independent driving is not a test of the candidates orientation skills . Provided the candidate does not commit a fault there is nothing to access. Any faults that did occur would be accessed as usual under the circumstances at the time.

Q: Is the approximate ten minutes of independent driving the same for all categories?
A: Yes. All categories will have to demonstrate approximately 10 minutes of independent driving.

Q: Does the reduced number of manoeuvres apply to car driving tests only (category B)
A: Yes. Manoeuvres in other categories will remain unchanged.

Q: When following traffic signs the candidate approaches a junction but there are no signs to the destination that the examiner specified. How will this be dealt with?
A: There will be times, due to poor or obscured signage, when the examiner will have to intervene. In this instance the examiner would say “There are no signs here. Just continue ahead please,” and then after the junction: “Now carry on following the signs to…”

Q: During the independent driving section, if the candidate asks for a reminder of the directions, will the examiner be able to tell them?
A: Yes, of course. Just as with the current driving test, the examiner will be happy to confirm the directions.

Q: What will happen if a candidate has special needs such as dyslexia and they can’t follow directions?
A: The DSA is determined that no member of society should suffer detriment due to any change. There are procedures in place to identify special needs or disability at the booking stage. Once the booking is made the type of special need is flagged to the examiner so that reasonable adjustments can be made.

Q: What if the candidate doesn’t speak English?
A: This is not expected to be a problem. Examiners are very experienced at dealing with candidates with little or no English. Just as currently, the candidate can have an interpreter along with them on test if they wish. One change has been made to policy relating to interpreters, from April 6th this year, ADI’s are able to act as interpreters to their own pupils.

If you are concerned about the new element of the driving test, starting in October 2010, discuss it with your Blakes driving instructor. Part of your training to pass your driving test and become a safe driver, will include practising the skill of independent driving during your lessons.

Call today on 08456 44 81 44

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