Driving tests are set for dramatic updates with tests automatically suspended in some circumstances and the introduction of a range of strict social distancing measures. The new updates are designed to minimise the time motorists spend inside a vehicle and reduce the risk of transmission between examiners and students.
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The biggest change to tests will be if a student makes a major error behind the wheel during their test.
If drivers make a minor error they can carry on driving as they may still be able to pass the exam.
However those who commit serious or dangerous faults and automatically fail will now be told to drive back to the test centre.
Under usual circumstances, examiners would allow the driver to continue the test as a learning experience for their next attempt.
But under new rules the tests will automatically end to minimise the time drivers spend in the vehicle and could be subjected to germs.
Ian Mcintosh, CEO of RED Driving School saud the new rule made sense from a “safety perspective” but warned the test experience was being “diminished”.
He told Express.co.uk: “There are some differences learner drivers will need to be aware of.
“In this new era of driving tests, the examination will be stopped immediately if the candidate commits a serious or dangerous fault.
“Previously, the test would continue, which gave the candidate the benefit of a full test experience where they’d be informed at the end of the session that they hadn’t passed.
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“This new measure has been introduced to limit contact time between the examiner and learner driver.
“While this makes sense from a safety perspective, it does feel like the experience of being tested is a little diminished.
“COVID-19 is likely to be with us for a long time. We all need to get used to new ways of working and travelling, and restarting driving tests is key to our new reality.”
Any students going to a driving test have been told they must bring and wear face covering unless there is good reason not to.
This could include any physical or mental illness or that wearing one would cause you distress.
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Arriving at a test center without a face covering could see a test cancelled unless motorists have declared this when they arrange the exam.
Instructors will ask you to stop your car during the test to adjust your face mask if you have any issues with it while driving.
Examiners also have discretion to end the driving test early if they feel a face covering has become a safety issue in any way.
To keep social distancing measures in place, driving examiners will ask students to get out of the vehicle before they offer any test result feedback.
GOV.UK warns drivers must not come for a test if they have any coronavirus symptoms, have been in contact with someone who has the coronavirus or have returned to the UK in the last 14 days.
As part of a phased reintroduction, only those who have had tests cancelled will be able to book a driving test for the time being.
Only once these tests have been completed will the booking service reopen to new customers.
Critical workers who may need a driving licence to do their job effectively will still be given priority over any new customers.
The DVSA has wanted learner drivers otcheck tehru knowledge and skills were up to standard before taking their test.
DVSA Chief Driving Examiner Mark Winn said: “I know many learners are keen to take their driving test but it is vital they have the right skills and knowledge to help them through a lifetime of safe driving before attempting it.”
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