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?