Are You Ready?

The DSA have published a new version of the Are You Ready video including information about the Independent Driving element being introduced in October:

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Independent Driving – Part of the Test From October 2010

From October 2010, students will be asked to drive independently for about 10 minutes during their test, following a series of directions, road signs, or a combination of both. This is designed to better prepare students for the real world when they will no longer be following directions from someone in the passenger seat.

The DSA have published this video on YouTube to show how it will work:

From the DSA’s publicity:

Independent driving: the facts

Independent driving will become part of the practical driving test in Great Britain in October 2010.

It’s tasking the candidate to drive for about 10 minutes, either following a series of directions, following traffic signs, or a combination of both.

To help the candidate be clear about where they’re going, the examiner can show them a diagram too.

It doesn’t matter if candidates don’t remember every direction, or if they go the wrong way – that can happen to the most experienced drivers.

Newspaper reports

The claim in some newspapers that independent driving would lead to a fall in the driving test pass rate is based on early research where conditions did not reflect the eventual design of the new element of the test.

Subsequent trials with a larger number of participants and more closely reflecting the conditions in the planned new test showed no significant fall in the pass rate.

The Effects of Speed and Driving Whilst Using a Mobile Phone

Here’s an e-mail I received this week:

The Honda crotch rocket rider was traveling at approximately 85 mph.. The VW driver was talking on a cell phone when she pulled out from a side street, apparently not seeing the motorcycle. The riders reaction time was not sufficient enough to avoid this accident.

The car had two passengers and the bike rider was found INSIDE the car with them.

The Volkswagen actually flipped over from the force of impact and landed 20 feet from where the collision took place.

All three involved (two in the car and the bike rider) were killed instantly. This graphic demonstration was placed at the Motorcycle Fair by the Police and Road Safety Department…