The controversial plan for all learner drivers to be accompanied on driving test by their driving instructor from October 2010 has been partially scrapped.
A meeting was held at DSA’s Headquarters with ADI representative organisations on 24th September 2009. At the meeting, the DSA responded to the objections raised by ADI’s and ADI organisations to the original proposal of making it mandatory for supervising drivers to accompany candidates on all driving tests.
DSA Chief Executive Rosemary Thew explained that the DSA had reflected on the points raised. Chief Operating Manager Brian Gilhooley read out the following statement:
“The proposal that candidates should be required to take an observer with them on their practical car driving test from October 2010 has generated a great deal of debate. DSA has received comments from a variety of stakeholders and has met with the ADI Consultative Groups and the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS). We have listened carefully to all the views expressed. We remain convinced that an observer sitting in on test will enhance the learning process, which, in turn, will provide road safety benefits. We recognise, however, that there are valid reasons why an approach based on education and incentivisation might be preferable to mandating through regulation at this stage.
“So this is the approach we suggest: at the start of the test, driving examiners will ask all candidates if they would like their driving instructor (or another observer, such as a parent, guardian or friend who has taught the candidate to drive) to sit in on their test. The examiner will then ask the candidate if they would like their instructor be present for the test result and debrief. This will allow candidates to take advantage of the opportunities available to support their ongoing learning and development, but will leave the final decision with them.Read More
Wannabe motorist Cara Griffiths, 28, from Romford, has been driven to despair after passing her driving test, only to be told hours later that she hadn’t because the examiner didn’t conduct her test properly.
According to the Romford & Havering Post, Cara cruised through her driving test first time with only five minor driving faults, observed by two examiners from the Hornchurch Test Centre.
She was presented with her driving test pass certificate and was so pleased that she immediately phoned family and friends to tell them her fantastic news. But Cara’s celebrations were short-lived when examiners contacted her four hours later to tell her that the pass certificate was invalid because the examiner had made a mistake during the test.
“I got home chuffed to bits as I’ve wanted to do this for years, only to be told I had failed,” said Cara, who has spent more than £600 on lessons and tests. “I drove exactly how I was instructed, but the examiner had only done one manoeuvre and forgotten to do a second one. Now I’m being penalised and have failed the test.”Read More
After much recent pressure from within the professional driver coaching industry, the DSA have made an important amendment to their driving test marking guidelines.
It seems to be a little known fact that a driver taking their driving test will not be faulted for simply failing to adopt the ‘pull-push’ steering technique. In truth, this has been the case for over 20 years, but the ‘pull-push’ method has become so ingrained within the industry that many driving instructors still vehemently insist on its use.
A new paragraph has appeared in the latest amendments to the DT1 (DSA Examiners Guidance Notes) with regard to ‘control’. You can access the full document here.
“To ensure uniformity, when conducting car or vocational tests and ADI qualifying examinations, only assess the candidate’s ability to control the vehicle and do not consider it as a fault if, for example, they do not hold the steering wheel at ten to two or quarter to three or if they cross their hands when turning the steering wheel. The assessment should be based on whether the steering is smooth, safe and under control.” (Crown Copyright)Read More
If you haven’t already heard from your other sources of information, the DSA booking systems will be closed from 5.15pm on Thursday July 30th until 8.00am on Tuesday August 4th (approximate times) for essential IT maintenance on their operational systems.
All online services to book or amend practical tests and other instructor services including updating your contact details, applying for registration, renewing your certificate and ordering Pass Plus packs will be unavailable. The Contact Centre will be offering a limited service between 8am and 6pm on Friday 31st July.
For any enquiries, please call the DSA on 0300 200 11 22.
Theory Test services will be available as normal.