The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has called for the current driving test to be changed in order to try and keep it relevant for modern-day learners. The Road Traffic Act was first passed in 1934, and the current driving test will be eighty years old this year. Since its inception only two major changes have been made: the introduction of the theory test in 1996 and the introduction of hazard perception in 2002. As it stands, the test doesn't cover three major motoring risk factors: driving on country roads, driving in poor weather and driving at night.æ With road accidents currently the biggest killer of young people in the UK (higher than both alcohol and drugs), the IAM is calling for increased scrutiny in order to help make driving safer. In 2013, 191 people under the age of 24 were killed and 20,003 injured when driving cars or riding motorbikes.æ In the five years between 2009 and 2013, 1,037 people were killed on UK roads. Neil Greig, the director of policy and research at IAM, said: 'The driving test needs to become a much more integrated part of a graduated licensing system that picks up on best practice from around the world. "For instance, Austria has a 'second phase' licensing system, where young drivers come back in the first 12 months after the test for further interventions to examine attitude changes and skills.î Casualties for young male drivers have dropped by a third in Austria since a similar initiative was brought in. The IAM believes the following changes should be introduced into the driver training system:
- Road safety education to be a bigger part of the National Curriculum.
- Support for a minimum learning period to take place prior to the practical test.
- High-speed roads to be introduced in the test itself.
- Peer passenger numbers to be limited after the test is taken.
- New drivers to have a lower drink-drive limit.
- Learner drivers to be allowed on motorways whilst learning, as opposed to after passing their test.
'The driving test today does test a driver's ability to a very high level, but it has fallen behind what is urgently needed today in 2015. This must be addressed as a matter of urgency by the next Government,î added Greig.