The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has hit back at reports criticising a decade-low driving test pass rate.
There are claims that the pass rate – which has slumped to 45.8 percent – is due to a new parallel parking manoeuvre, introduced in 2017.
During the driving test, the examiner will ask the learner to perform one of three reversing exercises. Media reports have singled out one specific manoeuvre, the requirement to pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for around two car lengths, and rejoin the traffic.
Rob Harper, chair of the Association of Approved Driving Instructors told The Telegraph: “I think it’s a dangerous manoeuvre and so do many of my members.
“We have had lots of complaints from instructors, learner drivers and from members of the public, who aren’t used to seeing people doing it.”
But the DVSA has slammed the media reports, saying that learner drivers make fewer serious and dangerous faults on the ‘pull up on the right’ manoeuvre compared to other reversing exercises.
The top reasons for failing the driving test are actually failing to look properly at junctions and not using mirrors effectively when changing direction.
‘A lifetime of safe driving’
Mark Winn, DVSA’s chief driving examiner, said: “DVSA’s priority is to help everyone through a lifetime of safe driving.
“Candidates should only attempt their test when they’ve gained a broad range of experience and are ready to drive safely and independently.
“Anyone who fails their driving test has to wait at least 10 working days to take another. This ensures the candidate has time to undergo additional training and improve any faults noted by the examiner before they take their test again.”
The driving test was revamped in December 2017 to “make the test more reflective of real-life driving”.
The DVSA says that it doesn’t recommend that a driver always pulls up on the right; the best practice is to pull up on the left.
“It’s far safer for new drivers to be taught this legal manoeuvre by a driving instructor, rather than leaving it to chance once they’ve passed their test,” it says.