According to the Independent on Sunday newspaper the Government will be releasing a report in October that will feature some of the biggest changes to driving in this country since the driving test was introduced in 1935.
The report itself is set to be made public in October this year which also happens to be the 80th anniversary of the introduction of the driving test and according to sources will contain a number of massive changes to the way licences are given out and held on to. The Independent on Sunday reports having seen a consultation document with many of the outlined plans clearly in place.
What Is Changing?
One of the major changes mention in the document is the introduction of more flexible driving test times. These are set to include evening and weekend slots to help people get a test booked sooner. To further increase the speed at which people can get their licence examiners are going to be asked to take a photo once the person passes which can then immediately be sent to the DVLA. At the moment many people book thier test very early because the expect to have to wait for weeks, if an earlier date arrives they fail and so costing more money as they have to try again. The aim is to give people a more solid idea of when their test will be and allow them to work properly towards it.
In a more negative part of the document it seems many test centres will be closed to save money and the private sector will be brought in to take up any shortfall in staff. This could mean lots more work for driving instructors as they are the ones likely to be drafted into to help. Sadly the other side of that is government jobs will be lost as a result.
The issue of what age people should have to declare themselves fit to drive has always been a sensitive issue, it is said the report will be looking at moving the age to 75 from 70. This comes after calls from various groups earlier this year for the age to be raised to 80 as it would save a great deal of admin time and money if less people went through the process. There are of course considerations and possible consequences for other road users if the age steadily becomes higher, but as everyone keeps living longer it may be the right thing to do.
Another area that will not save, but generate money is the increase in cost of private or “cherished” number plates. This is an odd inclusion as the government only recently dropped the cost. It is said this increase will fall in with a number of changes that will increase the cost of the non essential parts of driving and generate extra revenue.
More to Come
Clearly there will be much more detail to come when the report is published but it is certainly in no doubt the car has evolved far faster than the testing process. There is talk of including a satnav section of the practical test to make sure people are able to follow the instructions properly among other things.
Losing test centres may not be such a good thing but generating money from non essential driving services could benefit the country in other ways. Whatever happens it will cause a big stir and the headlines will be filled with cries of support and condemnation. How the end results will effect us all is something only time will tell.