Examiners have begun a 48hr strike in protest against changes made to the practical driving test which come into action today. Examiners deem the switch-up detrimental to both their pay and working hours. Consequently, thousands of learners have been forced to cancel their tests this week as a last minute appeal of the Union to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to intervene fell through. According to the Public and Commercial Services Union, examiners are correct in insisting that changes to the test mean they will be forced to work longer hours with no extended pay. Grayling responded to the Union’s plea by shrugging off the issue, claiming that large parts of the dispute have already been resolved. The change has been deemed as the biggest shake up to the practical driving test, ever.
The new test involves learner drivers using vehicle sat nav in the place of the previous independent driving section of the test where they were previously expected follow instructions by word of mouth (e.g. first left, right at the roundabout, follow second left) or follow road signs to a destination e.g. Gatwick, Reigate. This section of the test has also been extended to twenty minutes.
Changes to the test are designed to reflect ‘real life’ driving scenarios, with manoeuvres such as ‘reverse around a corner’ and the three-point turn thrown out the window in place of driving into a parking bay and responding to vehicle safety questions whilst driving; an element of the test that was previously covered by two quick fire questions at the start.
Are you a learner driver soon to take your test? If so, what do you make of these changes? Do you think the changes to the exam reflect so-called ‘real life driving’ and will make you a safer driver? Or do you sympathise with the examiners’ predicament? Perhaps you’ve already got your license. Do you feel the test you took best prepared you for the road? We’d love to know your thoughts on this contentious issue! Get in touch with us on Instagram (@unilovers.co.uk) or in the comments section below.