No legislation to force Driving Instructors in the back on test

At the moment a learner driver can request to have their instructor sit in the back of the car during their practical driving test. If they are learning to drive in their own car they have the option to have a friend or family member accompanying them on their test. There have been recent discussions with Driving Standard Agency (DSA) to make it compulsory for all candidates to have a qualified driver accompanying them on the 40-minute driving test.

 This change was planning to made in October 2010, this was because the DSA carried out a study, which showed having an accompanying driver on the test is very beneficial to the learner.

Learner driver’s may or may not benefit from this approach, many pupils said it will help them if they fail so that their instructor can see what they have done wrong. Others say that it will make them much more nervous having two people watching you on your driving test, which could make you perform worse on the test.

 We can now say that the plan to make this a legal requirement has now been scrapped.

Rosemary Thew the DSA chief executive said:

 “We want to work in partnership with the driver training profession to help candidates get the most from their training and from their practical test experience. We believe that having an observer on test to see the drive at first hand and hear the examiner’s debrief will enhance the candidate’s learning experience, which, in turn, will lead to road safety benefits. Given that we are no longer planning to legislate and that we already encourage this practice, we are looking at how we might progress this approach sooner than October 2010.”

In the future it will be made compulsory for the driving examiner to offer the candidate the opportunity for someone to sit in on their test, it will be then up to the candidate to decide if they would like someone to accompanying.

Rosemary Thew continued to say:

 “In the meantime, our examiners will continue to welcome instructors to sit in on test and encourage them to listen to the debrief. We want candidates to experience driving instructors and driving examiners as professional road safety experts working together to help them to be safe and responsible drivers with the overall aim of improving road safety.”

 We welcome you comments on this to see how you feel about having someone sit in on driving test, which would you choose? Do you think it is a good approach making it mandatory or should it be optional?

 For anymore Driving Lesson tips or Driving School Information check out the Bill Plant Homepage. 

How many driving lessons will I need?

One of the most common questions asked to all driving instructors is ‘How many lessons will I need to pass my driving test?’ Unfortunately this is a very difficult question to answer, especially if you are asking someone before you have even begun to learn to drive.

 Every person learns in different way, where one person might take 10 hours to learn to drive another might take 80 hours with the same instructor. There isn’t anyway to determine how many lessons you will need before you begin to learn.

 The national average is between 30 and 40 hours practicing before you put in for your test the first time. The current first time pass rate is 43%, therefore over half put it for there test and then fail the first time. This makes it even harder to determine how many lessons you will need before you actually pass your test as you might do the recommended 40, fail and have to do another 10 before your next test.

 Below is a simple to table to display the number of lessons you may need:

Lesson time table

 Other things you should take into consider is have you had any driving experience before, e.g. driving on private land. Have you had any road use either cycling or on a motorbike. If you already understand road use you might find it easier when you begin your driving lessons.

When you do begin to learn to drive rather than trying to pass as soon as possible, learn at your own rate and make sure you are ready when you go in for your test.