Driving test

  Noldi 10:16 14 Oct 2006

I here on the radio this morning that a Judge commented the way to make roads safer was that we retake a driving test every 10 years.

I know that I would have to inprove my standard of driving to pass again.

Maybe it does not have to be a full test but I think its not such a bad idea.


  def90csw 11:10 14 Oct 2006

I passed my driving test 1st time and 7 years later took my HGV2, 3 years after that HGV1 and 2 years ago my Advanced IAM test on Cars. And everytime i have learnt something new!

  johndrew 11:33 14 Oct 2006

I don`t claim to be the best driver on our roads, but based on what I see every day I think a large proportion of drivers may well fail a test if taken again. That may cause an improvement in the standard overall (at least I would like to think so) but in any event would be grist to our beloved Chancellors mill as he would reap the financial benefit!!!!!

  anskyber 11:48 14 Oct 2006

Interesting. I have no problem with being retested but I wonder how much it will really achieve.

The Joint Transport Research Centre has found that young drivers crash fatality rates account for about 27% of driver fatalities across the study area. Young drivers however only represent about 10% of the population. 20% - 30% of total traffic fatalities result from crashes invoving young drivers.

Young male drivers are 3 times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than female drivers.

I mention these facts because the young driver in all liklihood has experienced a driving test and tuition more recently than others, it is emphatically not an attempt to bash young people. My conclusion therefore is a retest may not achieve the desired outcome. It could perhaps weed out some obviously bad drivers.

It has been shown that a significant amount of accompanied driving by young people around and following the test can lead to a reduction in post test fatalities in the age group by as much as 40% in the first two years. I think therefore there is a strong case for a more difficult testing process and follow up support. And yes, the very old are more likely to have and accident than the middle age groups. Happily I am not there yet!

  FRCS 12:39 14 Oct 2006

The majority of road traffic incidents i see in A&E are mostly from young drivers aged 17 to 25 and most seem to be from driving to fast.

  Chris the Ancien 13:00 14 Oct 2006

Let's look at in another way!

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) have enough problems coping with the number of driving tests that they have to do now. In a lot of areas, the waiting list can be anything up to 8-11 weeks. How on earth would they cope with a vast escalation in numbers? Ever since the DSA were made a 'cost centre', they have to make a profit. They scrape through.

Add to that, most test centres would be unable to actually handle the extra numbers of cars that would appear.

Also... it is reckoned that a large percentage of the population are driving unlicensed, uninsured or without properly legal cars. This is because it is difficult to police these matters - because of the reduction in police numbers and the lack of policing these road users. It just takes too long to do.

The police now have the power to impound cars that are being driven illegally; and, if necessary, dispose of said vehicles. But where are the police to do it?

I agree (and it was shown on ITV last night) that the younger road users are most at fault - usually through a misplaced confidence. 17 to 24-year olds are the major group. Over 25% of fatal accidents are cause by this minority road user group.

There is no simple answer. These young people find it quite easy to pay the stupid little fines that get imposed. Usually it is easier to accept the fines than pay the cost of insurance that applies to their age group. They do not care!

To throw a spanner in the works...

How about applying psychological profiling as part of the application for a driving licence? Then make meaningful penalties for those that are caught as miscreants. If you took the bumper of a car and beat someone to death with it, you would be charged with murder. Leave the bumper attached to a car and kill someone with it and the penalties are minuscule in comparison.

As long as penalties are so cheap, they will have this problem with the younger generation. They don't care. Make the punishment fit the crime and they might start realising that safer driving ins not an option - it's a necessity.

Now, I shall climb off my soap box!

  DrScott 13:05 14 Oct 2006

I'm not sure retaking will make any difference because the way you perform under exam conditions is very different to the way you perform in real life.

Personally I think if you're caught for a driving offence you should have a monitor attached to your engine by the police which monitors aspects of your driving (even if it is just speed). If after a month your driving is much improved, then you don't get a fine or points; if not, you get a huge fine and lots of points.

I think such a carrot and stick approach would be much more effective.

  sean-278262 13:19 14 Oct 2006

"The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) have enough problems coping with the number of driving tests that they have to do now. In a lot of areas, the waiting list can be anything up to 8-11 weeks."

Where in Ireland where I took my test it took me 48 weeks to get my test!

I dont think that retesting people is going to work nor does the suggestion about tracking engine speed and what not.

I feel the problem lies in the most young drivers feel that they can handle the speed and therefore will show off. Ideally young drivers should be charged huge insurance premiums and if they want reasonable quotes the insurance companies must be allowed to limit the power of the cars. Random checks to see that the car has not been modified would be another thing as you see 100s of cars that are, lowered, bigger bore exhausts, tinted windows etc all wont help. I know for sure that many modders dont declare the mods they perform on the cars which invalidates the insurance.

Maybe one of these systems where they show in real terms the cost of speed before a driver can pass his or her test. Let them know what they need to avoid.

  Forum Editor 13:39 14 Oct 2006

more likely to be involved in road traffic accidents - that's nothing new.

Several things have happened to make the situation worse now than say thirty or so years ago, however.

1. Cars (even 'first-time' cars) have become far more powerful.

2. There are far more vehicles on the roads - more young drivers have cars of their own.

3. Roads have been improved, and higher average speeds are possible.

I doubt that a 10-year testing interval would be workable, or desirable, although I'm in favour of drivers over the age of say, 65 being tested every five years or so. What we need is a revised schedule of penalties for driving offences, penalties which act as a real deterrent. It's the only way.

I regularly drive on London's North circular road, and on the M25, and I see horrendous driving standards on a daily basis. I imagine that the same applies pretty well everywhere, and in my experience the chief offenders are young males in cars or vans. They exhibit the most aggression, and the worst excesses of speed. It's a testosterone thing.

  spuds 14:11 14 Oct 2006

Personally I am all in favour of newly passed drivers having to display 'P' plates or something similar for 6 month after they have passed the driving test. Near were I live there is a DSA test centre, so in the immediate area, the learner drivers are usually taken for a final spin around the block. In some cases the driving appears fault free, indication of travel perfect, speed perfect, consideration for other road users and pedestrians perfect. Yet on occasions, you see one of these new drivers, who live in this locality, completely disregard the very basics of driving, after a few days of being an approved driver. Other road users and pedestrians, to hell with them. I am the king of the road now, and I have a driving license to prove it.

In a previous occupation, I had to take a special driving test approximately every 2 years. The result of that test, was a revision exercise on the bad habits that I had picked up over the past two years. Extra tuition was required before I was approved again. Many a time, I was asked if I would give someone driving lessons, and on every occasion I refused. Must add that I have witnessed driving instructors, who I would never recommend.

  Cymro. 14:32 14 Oct 2006

Re testing every 10 years or so may well help to reduce accidents but as someone has said it is hardly practical. I rather think that some sort of probationary period after passing the test would help. The first 12 months after passing the test is probably the most dangerous time in a young mans life. If they were limited to the roads they could drive on, the speed they were aloud to do, the time of day they could drive, the number of passengers they could carry etc. Any offence in this probationary period would result in loosing their license and having to take a test again. Again this would be difficult to administer but surely something must be done. I still don`t know how my son managed to pass his test. He was a liability to himself and other road users for a long time and I was terrified of going in the car with him. Thankfully he is over that stage now but it took one right-off, several minor shunts and a few speeding tickets before he wised up. But I still don`t like going in the car with him. Mind you I must admit I was much the same at his age

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