Driving Tests: Coronavirus

Department for Transport written question – answered on 25th February 2021.

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Photo of Fay Jones Fay Jones Conservative, Brecon and Radnorshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2021 to Question 140276 on Driving Tests: Coronavirus, if he provide details of the research suggesting an extension to the expiry dates of driving theory certificates would negatively impact on hazard perception skills.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Research studies in the UK, notably those conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), have separately proven that both on-road experience and hazard perception skills reduce crash risk. They also evidence that hazard perception is related to experience.

Other TRL research on independent driving also highlights the assumption that the learner driver is exposed to tasks that are typical of post-test driving as part of their pre-test learning.

Those with theory test certificates expiring may have taken their test in early 2019. Since then, their on road practical experience will have been significantly curtailed during recent lockdowns. Therefore, whilst a short extension would allow more on-road experience it does not ensure that the learner will have had sufficient experience, or been sufficiently exposed to driving tasks, to be able to drive safely at the critical point that they drive independently for the first time.

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