Driving Test Pass Rate Plummets, And Instructors Are Blaming New Rules

Driving test pass rates are at a decade low, according to new figures. Instructors are pointing the finger at a new, ‘dangerous’ parallel parking manoeuvre…

Plummeting Passes

Pass rates for the driving test have reached a decade low, now sitting at 45.8%. That’s the lowest figure recorded since 2008, when the pass rate stood at 45.3%. The drop has been attributed, at least partly, to new testing standards which were introduced in December 2017. As well as increasing the emphasis on ‘independent’ driving, old manoeuvres were replaced with new ones; one of which has been described as being ‘dangerous’ by driving instructors. It requires drivers to pull up along the right-hand side of the road, reverse for the length of two cars and then safely rejoin the flow of traffic.

The chair of the Association of Approved Driving Instructors, Rob Harper, has received numerous complaints involving the new manoeuvre. He said, “I think it’s a dangerous manoeuvre and so do many of my members. We have had lots of complaints from instructors, learner drivers and from members of the public, who aren’t used to seeing people doing it.” He suggested that its dangerous lies with the fact that so few motorists were accustomed to seeing it on the nation’s roads. However, the DVSA has insisted that learners simply need to be better prepared for the driving test. A spokesman for the organisation said “examinations are not getting stricter. Drivers simply need to be better prepared.”

Investigating Instructors 

Whilst learner drivers come to grips with new testing procedures, there’s also rising debate around illegal driving instructors. DVSA figures have revealed that the vast majority of complaints concerning illegal instructors do not lead to convictions. Since 2014, 961 complaints have been filed but only 18 convictions have been secured; that’s just 2%. Anyone offering instruction in return for payment must legally possess Approved Driving Instructor qualification or be a Potential Driving Instructor undergoing training. The DVSA has stressed that the figures may concern multiple drivers and that it can’t confirm whether they were reliable complaints or not. Nevertheless, the fact that the organisation decided to make prosecutions itself in the 2018 / 2019 financial year indicates it perceives rising severity.

According to the DVSA, there are around 40,000 qualified driving instructors in the UK. In a statement is said, “we have stringent measures in place to detect fraud and bring offenders to justice…Obtaining co-operation and witness statements is a vital part of the evidence required to prevent illegal driving instructors from operating. Therefore DVSA encourages individuals to come forward and work with our investigators.” Either way, an illegal instructor is likely to mitigate the chances of their pupils passing the test; dangerous manoeuvres or not.

New Drivers May Face A Night Curfew, According To Ministers: https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/new-drivers-night-curfew/

All The Reasons Young People Are Turning Their Backs On Car Ownership: https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/young-people-turning-backs-cars/

The Autoserve Club can save you time, money and stress. Club Members can receive huge fuel discounts, discounts on servicing, 15% off new tyres and access to our professional 24/7 helpline. To learn more, contact our friendly Service Advisers on 0121 521 3500 today

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