The Driving Test is Falling Behind
The driving test has been accused of falling behind the times and not keeping up with technological developments.
The RAC has warned that Learners who are taking their tests in modern cars rather than those in older models have a bigger advantage by having additional assistance from semi-autonomous safety aids, which alert learners to speed limit changes, blind spot warnings, and help with braking, and keeping in lane.
It’s argued that although these technologies will help to make the roads a safer place, learners have to demonstrate that they can drive without the assistance of these safety aids.
Only but a few learners will ever be able to afford cars with this type of technology when they first become a full licence holder.
Over the years the DVSA has made changes to the test to accommodate parking sensors and electric handbrakes. These however take little responsibility from the driver. Parking aids are essential aid when candidates are asked to perform manoeuvres such as bay parking.
The new test due to start in December 2017 will see the use of Sat Nav’s so that candidates can demonstrate that they are able to use technology safely to assist them.
These are four additions available on new vehicles that could be seen to give an unfair advantage these are:
- Speed limit detection – automatically reminding the driver of the speed limits
- Lane keep assist – keeping the vehicle within the lane, in effect steering itself.
- Collision warning – providing advanced warnings before an emergency brake.
- Blind spot warning – sensors provide blind spot checks and providing warnings.
The concerns are that students will avoid some of the minor faults over the course of the test for lack of awareness, ignoring blind spots, reacting late to other road users and keeping adequate levels of control.
Driving examiners should be kept up to date on how to mark candidates when using cars fitted with this new technology. And able to identify whether they are using these technologies to assist them on test, or if they are using their own knowledge and skills.
A DVSA spokesperson said : “DVSA’s priority is to help prepare you for a lifetime of safe driving. We will therefore ensure that driving tests are updated to keep up with new vehicle technology safely, and without distraction while driving.”
Source: Intelligent Instructor