Driving test change to boost accessibility

Video scenarios will replace written ones to make them easier to follow.

- Advertisement -

Video clips are to replace written scenarios in UK driving theory tests to make them more accessible.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) announced that, from April 14, learners will be asked three questions after watching a driving clip of up to 30 seconds.

The change follows research which found that learners with reading difficulties and disabilities felt more comfortable with video scenarios than written ones.

DVSA chief driving examiner Mark Winn said: “Being able to drive can be life-changing and the DVSA is committed to helping everyone access the opportunities driving can offer.

“We have worked closely with road safety experts and learners to create a theory test which fully tests a candidate’s knowledge of the rules of the road and is more accessible.”

A scenario could show a car being driven through a town centre or on a country road, with three multiple-choice questions on issues such as safe overtaking or why motorcyclists are considered vulnerable road users.

Making the driving test more inclusive

The bid to improve access to driving comes after the Department for Transport launched its inclusive transport strategy in July 2018.

The DVSA worked with the National Autistic Society, the British Dyslexia Association and the British Deaf Association to develop the change.

John Rogers, of community interest company Disability Driving Instructors, said: “A picture paints a thousand words, especially for candidates with special educational needs.

“Having to go back and forth between the text in the written scenario and the written questions and answers was a big obstacle to understanding what was required.

“Video scenarios should prove much easier to follow and the questions will hopefully appear more relevant.”

AA Driving School managing director Sarah Rees said: “Technology is key to the driver training industry and the new videos will dramatically improve the process for people who struggled with the previous text-heavy format.

“In the past you could have been the most capable, confident driver but fall at the first hurdle having to decipher written driving scenarios.”

Some 17 million theory tests have been conducted in the UK over the past ten years. Existing support for learners with reading difficulties, disabilities or health conditions includes extra time to take the test and having someone to read and reword questions for them.

The exam involves 50 multiple-choice questions and a hazard perception test. Both sections must be passed before a learner can book a practical test.

A series of changes to the practical test in Britain came into force in December 2017. They included following instructions from a satnav, a period of independent driving doubled to 20 minutes, and a refreshed selection of manoeuvres deemed more realistic.

- Advertisement -
Stuart Masson
Stuart Massonhttps://www.thecarexpert.co.uk/
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites: The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.

Latest Expert Advice

Drivers urged to book MOT tests now to avoid the rush

Drivers are being urged to get their cars MOT tested this summer to avoid the rush once the six-month coronavirus extension expires in August.

Mandatory MOT tests to return from August

Mandatory MOT tests for cars more than three years old will return from August, the government has announced today.

Latest Expert Ratings

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio has been universally praised, with many UK reviewers rating it more highly than the benchmark BMW M3.

Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius has always been well-known for its eco credentials, but the latest model is also a considerable improvement to drive.

Mid-life facelift for Bentley Bentayga

Bentley has revealed its updated Bentayga, with a styling makeover to match the rest of the range, as well as several tech upgrades.

Citroën reveals new C4 and electric ë-C4

Citroën has revealed its latest-generation C4 range, bringing a fresh new look alongside a new electric model called the ë-C4.

Volvo recalls nearly 170,000 cars in the UK for seatbelt fault

Volvo has issued a recall of nearly 170,000 cars in the UK due to a cable that could wear over time and result in reduced seatbelt function.

Drivers urged to book MOT tests now to avoid the rush

Drivers are being urged to get their cars MOT tested this summer to avoid the rush once the six-month coronavirus extension expires in August.

More from The Car Expert

Expert Advice

Award-winning, independent and impartial advice on buying, financing, owning and running a car

Expert Ratings

We analyse and aggregate dozens of media reviews for each new car into an overall Expert Rating

Expert News

All the most important new car launches, model updates, car reviews and industry news

Expert Partners

Our new space for commercial partners to bring you special offers on their products and services

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.