Fleet Licence Check News Blog


Driving Test Changes Coming in December

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Friday, October 20, 2017

We are now less than two months away from the most significant driving test changes we have seen in decades. Beginning in December, the driving test that learners must pass to get a car licence will be more attuned to real-world driving than it has been in the past. Lots of changes are in store for new drivers. Some things will not change though, including things that can result in the loss of a licence and the electronic licence checks employers use to keep track of such things.

The current driving test was one that was developed decades ago based on the traffic conditions and technology of the day. Both the government and safe driving advocacy groups believed it was time for change, so they set about developing a new driving test to bring the skills assessment into the 21st century. According to the Independent, the new driving test has been used on a trial basis to prove its effectiveness. To date, 4,500 learner drivers and 850 instructors have worked with it.

What Is Changing

The new driving test effective from 4th December introduces new skills while also laying aside some skills the government no longer believes to be necessary. For example, four in five learners will have to demonstrate they can drive safely with the aid of a sat nav device. The device will be provided and programmed by the instructor as part of the test.

Learner drivers will also have to demonstrate a bit more knowledge of their vehicles through a 'show me, tell me' demonstration. They will have to prove they can do things like check their brakes, check headlights and tail lights, and measure tyre pressure.

As for things that aren't changing, the Independent says that the test will still take about 40 minutes to complete. The passing mark will also remain unchanged.

Things drivers can do to lose their licences in the future will not change either. As such, regular licence checks will still be an important part of employing drivers of all licence classes. Employers will still have access to licence checks utilising the same processes they utilise now.

Changes are coming to the driving test from December. Hopefully, the new test's focus on real-world driving will make the roads safer by guaranteeing drivers with new licences are fully prepared to drive in the evolving age of technology.

Sources:

Independent – http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/driving-test-changes-new-uk-december-what-are-they-show-me-tell-me-questions-satnav-a7990046.html

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Driving Licence App Being Tested by DVLA

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Friday, October 13, 2017

A group of select employees from the DVLA spent this past September testing the prototype of a smartphone app that will allow drivers to keep a digital representation of their driving licences on their phones. The government has said that their goal is to have the app ready for mass distribution by early 2018. Exactly how beneficial it will be to drivers remains to be seen.

Plans for the mobile app were first announced by the DVLA back in May. In his announcement, chief executive Oliver Morley intimated that the impetus behind the app was to make sure drivers were never without legal identification. Assuming that people will forget their plastic driving licences before their smartphones, allowing them to keep a digital copy of their licences on their phones would increase the chances that they would never be without proper ID.

A more recent report published by the Sun suggests there might be more to the smartphone app than just simple ID. The government is now saying that drivers will have access to their own driver data through the app, even when not connected to the Internet. Data would be stored on a driver's phone in the same way electronic payment apps store credit card information.

Benefits to Commercial Drivers

The Sun report also seems to suggest that drivers will be able to share their personal data with third parties through the smartphone app. If this is true, there may be some limited benefits to commercial drivers who may have to furnish data to their employers, in addition to those employers running electronic licence checks.

If the app turns out to be everything it is purported to be, it could streamline some aspects of carrying a driving licence and using it as legal ID. It will not change the need for employers to run electronic licence checks, but it will make it easier for professional drivers to supply their employers with personal data relating to their licence histories.

The only downside to the plan seems to be one of security. But security concerns are the norm these days. Hopefully the government will find a way to make the smartphone app highly useful and secure at the same time. Assuming they can pull it off, people will probably start registering for the service as soon as the app goes live in 2018.

Sources:

Sun – https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/4440965/dvla-driving-licence-app-being-tested-this-month-and-it-could-be-on-your-smartphone-by-next-year/

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