In its forward the Road Safety Minister, Andrew Jones, pledges the Government’s commitment to road safety, acknowledging that “road casualties devastate families and communities. Collisions also cost the economy an estimated £16.3 billion a year, and add pressure on the NHS and emergency services.”
He adds: “We should be proud of Great Britain’s strong road safety record. In 2015, road casualties were the second lowest on record. However, we need to plan for the future. As technology improves, vehicles will become more capable of driving themselves. We need to make sure driver training and testing keeps up, and the MOT adapts to be able to test vehicles that rely more and more on software.
“So I’m delighted to introduce DVSA’s strategy, which sets out the work DVSA will do up to 2022 to build on our excellent national road safety record. We will need the help and support of driving instructors and all drivers to achieve the ambitious aims of DVSA’s strategy.”
In the document itself the main thrust of the DVSA’s strategy for driver training and testing is found in Chapter 2.1: ‘We’ll make sure new drivers are better prepared for a lifetime of safe driving and have access to guidance, advice and training that helps to keep them safe. We’ll also do more to make sure driving tests are available at times and places which are more convenient for learner drivers.
Better information and training for drivers
To better meet the needs of learner drivers, we’ll make sure:
- they have access to information that helps them choose the best instructor for their needs
- they have the skills, knowledge and experience they need to pass their driving test the first time
- instructors and trainers provide a high standard of training.
To better meet the needs of all drivers, we’ll make sure:
- new drivers have guidance, information and support to keep them safe when they’re new to driving - for example, by sending personalised advice to them based on the faults they made during their driving test
- drivers know how to make the most of new vehicle features to help them drive safely.
Raising driving standards
- We will explore the opportunities for further developing driver training and testing in line with relevant technologies – eg, virtual reality
- driving tests are updated to keep up with new vehicle technology – for example, using sat nav or features in driverless cars
- we use technology to improve the efficiency, quality and consistency of tests
- we work with other organisations to make it easy for you to keep your knowledge and skills up to date for the rest of your driving life.
Improving test availability
To improve user experience, we’ll increase the choice of when and where driving tests are provided. For example, we’ll look at whether we extend the existing powers emergency services and lorry and bus operators have to provide driving tests for their staff. We’ll also consider if this model would be suitable for other types of driving tests.
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