Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist says the new driving test regime, which begins today, represents a missed opportunity for making the roads safer.
Although GEM welcomes the longer period of independent driving, the organisation’s road safety officer Neil Worth believes a big step forward in road safety has been missed by the exclusion of any reference to driver behaviour, driving manners or coping strategies for stressful journeys.
“Just about anyone can learn to parallel park or follow a satnav,” says Neil. “We believe a key component to a lifetime of safe driving is attitude, and in particular how to treat fellow road users.
“Drivers who implement GEM’s core values of courtesy, care and concentration on all their journeys are almost certain to experience reduced stress levels and fewer road rage incidents, meaning an altogether safer road environment.
“We are disappointed that nothing has been brought into the new test that covers this vital area of road safety.”
The new additions to the driving test come into effect today (Monday 4 December), and involve making the independent driving segment longer, changes in the manoeuvres and the introduction of using a satnav.