Learning to Drive – Have Your Say!
On 7 May, Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly announced the publication of the Government consultation paper, Learning to Drive. The document ignores calls for a minimum learner period and mandatory lessons with an ADI in favour of a radical overhaul of the driving test and tighter regulations for instructors, including the introduction of a star rating system based on pass rates.
The document, which was widely trailed as being the most fundamental shake-up of the learner driving process since the test was introduced, ignored many of the key recommendations in last year’s Transport Committee report into novice drivers. Instead, and despite prevailing wisdom from road safety campaigners, the Government has said it is not persuaded by the case for regulated learning and post-test restrictions and has chosen to focus on revamping the driving test – already acknowledged as one of the toughest in the world.
The document’s starting point is straightforward: newly qualified drivers have too many accidents. The DSA’s solution, improved training and testing, is in four parts:
Step 1: An improved driving test
Step 2: An improved learning process
Step 3: Better information about driving instructors and improved instructor training
Step 4: Further options for learning and qualifications
The DSA says: “We have an ambitious programme of reform, which will take time to develop, pilot and implement. We want people to engage with this consultation and share views on the general approach, as well as on specific proposals.” The easiest way to see a copy of the consultation document by clicking here and clicking on ‘Downloads’ at the bottom of the screen. Alternatively, phone the DSA helpline on 0300 200 1122 or email
[email protected]gsi.gov.uk and request a copy.