June 1 1935 saw the start of the requirement to pass a driving test in order to gain a licence. Although considerable progress has been made in reducing deaths and injuries on our roads in the last 75 years, too many young people continue to be killed and injured in the first few months after passing the test.
Commenting on the anniversary, Robert Gifford, Executive Director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, said “This birthday gives us a chance to reflect on what we have learned over the last 75 years and on the challenges ahead. The driving test has certainly contributed to making our roads safer. However, we now need to make it relevant to the 21st century.
“The Driving Standards Agency needs to make progress on the positive moves announced in the consultation on learning to drive two years ago. We need to see the introduction of the attitude adviser and of the parts of the practical test where candidates will be asked to make their own way to a destination rather than relying on instructions from the examiner. It is also time to make progress on the proposed GCSE in Safe Road Use that should be available in secondary schools.
“Road deaths continue to be a significant killer among 16 to 21 year olds, amounting for around 80% of all accidental deaths in the age group. The new test must help to reduce that number.”
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