Changes to the UK driving test will prepare new motorists for ‘real life driving’, according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
From 4 December 2017, the so-called ‘show me, tell me’ part of the test will change, with new drivers expected to complete the ‘show me’ test while driving. One question will be asked, which could include how to operate the horn, open the side window or switch on the headlights.
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In the new test, the examiner will ask the ‘tell me’ question at the start of the examination, before any driving takes place. Examples include how to check the brake lights, the oil level or tyre tread depth.
“DVSA’s priority is to help you through a lifetime of safe driving,” said chief driving examiner, Lesley Young. “It’s important that learner drivers work with their driving instructor to make sure they can operate the in-car controls safely whilst they’re driving.”
The DVSA has published two videos showing new drivers how to carry out these basic safety tasks. Simple they might be, but the DVSA has warned that if a candidate loses control of the car while answering the ‘show me’ question, it will result in a serious or dangerous fault. In other words: the candidate fails the test.
The changes to the ‘show me, tell me’ section of the exam are part of a series of updates to the UK driving test, including increasing the length of independent driving to 20 minutes, following directions from a sat-nav and changes to the reversing manoeuvre.
Carly Brookfield, chair of the steering group for national approved driving instructor associations (NASP), is behind the changes, saying: “Whilst in-car, on the road practice with a professional driver trainer is an important part of delivering safer drivers to our busy roads, we also recommend the use of supplementary learning resources such as ‘how-to’ videos from authoritative sources in driver education.”
Further details of the changes to the driving test can be found on the government website, but here are the ‘show me, tell me’ questions in full:
‘Show me’ (one question, during test)
- When it’s safe, show me how you’d wash and clean the rear windscreen.
- When it’s safe, show me how you’d wash and clean the front windscreen.
- When it’s safe, show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights.
- When it’s safe, show me how you’d set the rear demister.
- When it’s safe, show me how you’d operate the horn.
- When it’s safe, show me how you’d demist the front windscreen.
- When it’s safe, show me how you’d open and close the side window.
‘Tell me’ (one question, before test)
- Tell me how you’d check the brakes are working before starting a journey.
- Tell me where you’d find the car’s recommended tyre pressures and how you’d check each tyre.
- Tell me how you’d make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection.
- Tell me how you’d check the tyre have sufficient tread depth and are in a safe condition.
- Tell me how you’d check the headlights and tail lights are working.
- Tell me how you’d know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.
- Tell me how you’d check the indicators are working.
- Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working.
- Tell me how you’d check the power steering is working before starting a journey.
- Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog lights and explain when you’d use them.
- Tell me how you switch your headlights from dipped to main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on.
- Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check the engine has sufficient oil.
- Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check the engine has sufficient coolant.
- Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.