The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is taking measures to make the theory and practical driving tests more reflective of a real life driving journey, including a greater emphasis on increasing safety for cyclists.
The lorry and bus theory tests include questions about dealing with vulnerable road users, including cyclists. Following a review of the Hazard Perception Test (HPT) content, each test now includes at least two clips that involve cyclists. The introduction of computer-generated technology provided the opportunity to include vulnerable road users (VRU) such as cyclists, children and horses. The current focus for future clip development is on driving in bad weather and darkness and these clips will also include vulnerable road users.
The practical Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driving test involves on road driving for a minimum of 50 minutes and covers a wide variety of roads that allows examiners to assess the driver’s ability to deal safely with vulnerable road users. The practical test is an effective assessment of a driver’s skills, knowledge and competency, including their ability to interact with cyclists. Drivers who show they are not able to interact safely with cyclists will not pass their practical test.
It is compulsory for all professional drivers of HGVs and Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCV) to complete the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) periodic training; this consists of 35 hours training spread over a five year period. Over 100,000 drivers per year complete periodic training focussed on VRUs. The ongoing training includes a wide range of topics including awareness of VRUs in urban areas and city centres.