Tag Archives: Road Safety

Could changes to the driving test improve road safety?

Could changes to the driving test improve road safety?

The proposed changes to the Driving test to improve road safety

On the 14th of July the DVSA launched a consultation on changes to the driving test. Lesley Young (the Chief Driving Examiner for DVSA) wants to make changes to the UK’s driving exam format to improve road safety.

The proposals are for:

~The ‘independent driving’ part of the exam to be Increased from 10 to 20 minutes

~Candidates to follow directions on a sat nav instead of following road signs

~More real life scenarios (driving into and reversing out of a parking bay) to replace current manoeuvres such as ‘reverse around a corner’

~Candidates will be asked one of the two vehicle safety questions while the candidate is driving


Chart 9: Casualties by severity and road type, GB: 2015; Source: ‘Reported road casualties in Great Britain: main results 2015’ (Department for Transport)

Young people are one of the most vulnerable road users. Road collisions are the biggest killer of young people.

One in 5 people killed or seriously injured on the roads are in a collision where a car driver is aged between 17 and 24.

Road traffic collisions:

~are the leading cause of death for people aged between 15 and 24

~account for over a quarter of all deaths of those aged between 15 and 19

Most deaths happen on rural roads. These are roads where the speed limit is 40 mph or faster.

It’s not always possible to use these rural roads in the driving test because:

~driving test routes at the moment rely on good signage for candidates to follow, these don’t always lead to rural or other higher risk roads

~access is needed to side roads and other quieter roads to carry out the current manoeuvres

Lesley wants to make changes to the format of the test so higher risk roads can be used more. She believes the introduction of following directions from a sat nav to open up these types of roads.

DVSA has published a consultation asking for views on the changes. The deadline to have your say is 25 August 2016.

Raising the standard of MOT testing

MOT Testing

Raising the standard of MOT testing to improve road safety

Plans have been revealed to improve road safety and give road users a better service when they take their vehicle for its MOT.

The DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) is introducing:

~A qualification for new MOT testers and managers (industry-recognised)

~And annual training and assessments for the existing 58,000 MOT testers

Carrying out MOTs to the right standard

Every year in Great Britain, around 27 million car MOTs are carried out.

While the vast majority are done to the right standard, DVSA have admitted that data shows some errors are made during the testing process. This is where the new qualification and training process will come in to place, to help reduce these errors.

MOT qualification

As of September 2016, new MOT testers will need a nationally-recognised qualification.

To be eligible for the qualification, they’ll already need to have:

~A technical qualification (For example, a Vehicle Technician, Vehicle Maintenance and Repair NVQ)

~At least 4 years of experience in the motor trade

They’ll then need to:

~successfully complete an MOT tester qualification course

~pass an MOT demonstration test with a DVSA examiner

The new qualification offers more people the opportunity to develop their skills and enter a career in MOT testing, which in turn will help to boost the industry.

Annual training and assessments

MOT testers will also have to take training and pass an assessment every year to continue carrying out MOTs.

The training will focus on topics which DVSA data shows testers are most likely to get wrong.

It means that drivers can be more confident that their MOT result is right, and that any vehicle faults are correctly identified. This helps protect everyone from unsafe vehicles.

Transport Minister, Lord Ahmad, said:

“MOT testers do an excellent and essential job ensuring that vehicles are fit to be driven on our roads.”

“We want all workers to be proud of their profession and drivers to be sure they are getting the right test result. We are introducing this new qualification and training and assessment regime to further boost the reputation of the profession.”

DVSA’s Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, added:

“Checking your vehicle is safe to drive is one of our top priorities. Ensuring the quality of MOT testing will ensure customers can be confident their vehicle will be tested in a highly professional manner.”

“The new qualification as well as the annual training and assessment will continue to build on the professional reputation of the MOT industry. It will help DVSA to regularly assess the standard of the industry and quickly address any problems that arise.”

“By achieving this new qualification, garages or testers will enable their businesses to flourish, but where standards are not being met, DVSA has an obligation to protect the public by withdrawing authority to carry out MOT testing.”

Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) Director, Stuart James, said:

“The new qualification is something that technicians can genuinely be proud of and knowing that the assessment standards are so very high, this can only enhance the UK’s excellent road safety record.”

Click here to check the MOT history of your vehicle

Raising the standard of MOT testing
What to do at the scene of an accident

What to do at the scene of an accident

Rule 283 main blog imagePhoto credit: jf01350 via Visualhunt / CC BY

Rule 283

If you are involved in a crash or stop to give assistance at the scene of an accident you should:

Warn others:

Park your vehicle and then turn your hazard lights on, ideally facing approaching traffic. Also if you have a warning triangle proceed to place this in the road.

If there are other people who can help send them back along the road to wave traffic in order to slow it down. Take care on fast moving roads … Other drivers might not understand what you are trying to do.

Reduce risks:

Check the scene, make sure all engines are turned off,  ensure nobody is smoking at the scene .

Get help:

Arrange for the emergency services to be called immediately with full details of the incident location and any casualties (on a motorway, use the emergency telephone which allows easy location by the emergency services. If you use a mobile phone, first make sure you have identified your location from the marker posts on the side of the hard shoulder)

Assess injuries:

move uninjured people away from the vehicles to safety; on a motorway this should, if possible, be well away from the traffic, the hard shoulder and the central reservation

Simple first aid:

  • Don’t move casualties: As you could cause further injury, unless they are in immediate danger from fire or explosion
  • Do not remove a motorcyclist’s helmet unless it is essential to do so
  • Check for breathing: If the casualty is not breathing, clear the mouth (false teeth, chewing gum, sweets) very gently tilt the head back and, holding their nose, gently blow into them at five second intervals allowing the chest to exhale naturally. See the links below for detailed information and methods.
  • Stop bleeding: Firm pressure on a wound will stem bleeding.
  • Don’t give casualties anything to eat or drink: This can cause complications for medics and delay life saving treatment.

stay at the scene until emergency services arrive. If you are involved in any other medical emergency on the motorway you should contact the emergency services in the same way.

To read more about the Highway Code, click here.

This article is intended for general information purposes only and  shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. Newnham &  Jordan Solicitors cannot accept  responsibility for  any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in  respect of this  article or any external articles it may refer or link to.


Rule 274 – Breakdowns

Rule 274 Main Image 1

Rule 274

If your vehicle breaks down, think first of all other road users and:

  • get your vehicle off the road if possible
  • warn other traffic by using your hazard warning lights if your vehicle is causing an obstruction
  • help other road users see you by wearing light-coloured or fluorescent clothing in daylight and reflective clothing at night or in poor visibility
  • put a warning triangle on the road at least 45 metres (147 feet) behind your broken-down vehicle on the same side of the road, or use other permitted warning devices if you have them. Always take great care when placing or retrieving them, but never use them on motorways
  • if possible, keep your sidelights on if it is dark or visibility is poor
  • do not stand (or let anybody else stand) between your vehicle and oncoming traffic
  • at night or in poor visibility do not stand where you will prevent other road users seeing your lights

To read other Highway Code Rules click here.

Rule 274 – Breakdowns
Drink Driving at Christmas Time

Drink Driving at Christmas Time

It’s almost Christmas again.  And police forces up and down the country are already watching out vigilantly for motorists suspected of being over the legal limit.  The annual Government anti-drink driving campaign has been launched warning of the consequences of a second drink.

Drink Driving

And in North Yorkshire a story has emerged of a drunken driver who hit a metal barrier in Tadcaster and fled the scene.  Rather than be found wandering the streets or behind a locked door at home he was instead discovered by police officers in a shed hidden behind bales of hay and the figure of baby Jesus amongst a Nativity scene.  His subsequent arrest prompted the police to post the news on Twitter; “Driver runs from RTC in Tadcaster and tries to hide in nativity display.  Located and arrested”.

The publicity prompted by the police led to humorous comments from other social media users with “Obviously not one of the wise men” and “God arrest ye merry gentlemen” being typical.  Even a police officer got in on the act and posted this message “Gold star to my North Yorkshire Police colleagues as one ‘myrrh’ drink driver with no ‘(frankin)sense’ is taken off the road”.

The consequences of even one drink before driving are well known to just about everybody and, as a lawyer who does his best to pick up the pieces for clients who find themselves in the often nightmare position of facing a drink driving conviction, I urge anyone and everyone to be extremely cautious.  It is far better to not drink and drive or to drink and plan and keep to alternative non-driving arrangements so as to avoid the risk of that barman or random member of the public calling the police to say you’ve driven off while obviously under the influence.

Of course if the worst does happen and you are experiencing the shock from an arrest for drink (or indeed drug) driving it is strongly advised you seek legal advice as soon as possible.  It can make a significant difference and hearing from someone who understands the court process step by step is often very reassuring.

While Newnham & Jordan will be closed for Christmas in common with almost all law firms there is always the means to reach a lawyer at any time.  Just ring the out of hours number 0845 680 7871 or Email office@newnham-jordan.co.uk and you will receive a call back within no time at all.  Support is never more than a phone call away.

Driving Tests-Cashback is Coming

As internet shoppers many of us will be familiar with the idea of cashback on your shopping. It’s always a welcome extra benefit.

Driving Tests

Well cashback could soon be coming to driving tests fees also. The government have plans to pay cashback to learner drivers who pass their test at the first attempt and a consultation is being launched, with the backing of the RAC.

The idea is to encourage drivers not to take the driving test before they are actually ready. As it is only some 1 in 5 people pass their driving test at the first attempt and there is anecdotal evidence that some learner drivers are booking a practical test well in advance, perhaps at the start of their lessons, and then taking the test at that time regardless of whether they are truly ready or not.

The Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, speaking on the subject, said “We want to make learning to drive safer and more affordable. This change will give those who pass first time some money back and provide an incentive for learners to be more prepared before they take their test”.

Learners who fail their test at the first attempt will still have to pay the full amount but they will be given more feedback from the examiner ahead of their second test. So potentially this change is beneficial for those who fail too.

The possibility of introducing more flexible slots for driving test appointments in the evenings and at weekends is another issue that will be considered during the consultation.

This article is intended for general information purposes only and  shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice.  Newnham &  Jordan Solicitors cannot accept  responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article or any external articles it may refer or link to.

Driving Tests-Cashback is Coming