Road collisions are the biggest killer of young people, which is why the driving test is being overhauled.
From December, candidates will be required to follow directions from a sat nav, seeing as research shows 52% of drivers are now using one in their vehicle.
The independent driving part of the test will be doubled to 20 minutes and candidates will also be asked to carry out one of three possible reversing manoeuvres: parallel parking, parking in a bay or pulling up on the right hand side of the road, reversing two car lengths and then rejoining traffic.
A fourth change to the driving test will be for the examiner to ask two safety questions while the candidate is driving, such as: show how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers, but probably not: show how you put a specific CD in the stereo, given that none of the CDs match up with the boxes they are now in and some have slipped down behind the seat with the Ginsters wrappers.
Because CD use in cars is on the wane.
The pass mark will remain the same, as will the overall time of the driving test and the cost.
But following a public consultation it was recognised that changes needed to be made in an attempt to deal with the fact that most fatal collisions occur on high-speed roads and that sat nav use is growing rapidly.
Many people use sat nav apps on their mobile phone, but it is illegal to use the device if it is not hands free.
If it’s fitted into a cradle and programmed with the route before you drive then that is allowed, as is pressing a button if a message pops up such as ‘A faster route has been found. Accept/Decline’.
However, as with anything else in your car, if the police suspect you are distracted and your ability to drive safely has been affected, you can still be prosecuted.
If you have committed a motoring offence contact our specialist motoring solicitors for advice on 0800 046 3066