Where it was once an integral part of the practical driving test, learners may no longer have to successfully complete a three-point turn as part of their assessment, under new proposals put forward by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency(DVSA).

In what is the biggest review of the driving test since the introduction of the theory element in 1996, the licencing body is considering such changes to make the test more relevant to modern driving.

As part of the revisions, reverse parking round a corner would also be axed, with more focus put on bay parking and joining traffic from side roads. The requirement for leaners to display reverse parallel parking skills would remain, however.

The last major change to the driving test came in 2010, where candidates were required to navigate themselves to a destination with the use of road signs rather than by following directions from their examiner, to demonstrate the ability to drive independently. This is likely to incorporate the use of a sat nav device in future.

Around 1,000 leaner drivers will be trialling the proposed changes at 20 test centres across Britain in the New Year. If they prove popular, the changes could become a lasting feature of the practical driving test.

A DVSA spokesman said: “We are carrying out initial research to explore how the driving test could better reflect real-life driving. Any future changes to the test would be subject to full public consultation.”

The news was welcomed by the Driving Instructors Institute, who said it was right that the test was becoming more relevant. However, other motoring organisations questioned the merit of removing elements from the test.

Speaking to The Telegraph, AA president Edmund King said: “Not everyone owns or needs a sat nav and it is not a legal requirement so shouldn’t be a compulsory part of the test. Some still navigate with signs and maps.

“In our view a three-point turn is still an important manoeuvre for getting out of cul de sacs, dead ends and often car parks.

“Eventually, self-parking cars will do away with parallel parking and, who knows, the driverless car might just do away with the test.”

Do you think three-point turns are irrelevant in modern motoring? Do you think the driving test needs changing at all? Have your say in the comments section below.

Picture: Fotolia

Daljinder Nagra


December 1, 2014