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Test routes to stop being published
Did you know that driving test centres across the UK publish their test routes online so that learner drivers can familiarise themselves before taking the practical driving test. This has proven to be a very good idea as many students who cannot book at their local test centre of choice are then given the option of booking at another test centre instead. This could be near their college, university or place of work, and by being able to familiarise themselves with the driving test routes, the chances of passing are higher than for someone who is unfamiliar with the local area.
In October 2010 when new driving test changes are introduced, test centres will no longer publish test routes as routine. Instead learners will have to prove that they can drive unassisted with limited direction. This will provide a more realistic approach to driving after passing the practical driving test as in most cases you will not have someone there to guide you to your destination. This can be a very scary start to the beginning of your driving history and this is one of the reasons new drivers are at higher risks of having an accident soon after passing the test.
Although many people do not support Independent Driving, research conducted by the DSA has found that there are more people that support it than initially thought. Of course all new learners will oppose this new introduction to the test but learning to drive independently should have been introduced long ago. Nowadays people turn to satellite navigation to help guide them to their chosen destination whereas before road users would turn to the old fashioned art of map reading. As a result of people using satellite navigation, they do not know the names of the common roads they use as part of their daily commute to work or social travel. With map reading, you need to remember junctions and landmarks but with satellite navigation the hard work is done for you and you are prompted when you need to take action.
Now that test routes will cease to be published in early October 2010 all learners will be made to learn the hard way. Hopefully then will the pass rates increase and new drivers will no longer be seen as a threat to other road users. The DSA is sure that the introduction of Independent Driving will change the way new drivers think and act and let’s hope they are right as many people predict that it will be harder to pass and driving instructors will insist learners take more lessons meaning the cost of learning will again increase.