DSA… What standards?

Nothing is guaranteed to upset drivers more than questioning their ability. 99.999% of drivers would rate their standard as good or better. So why do we see so much bad driving on our roads?

There are several reasons I believe, but one goes right back to basics; the driving test.

Take the theory part. Multiple choice questions.  As long as the candidate is a good guesser or just lucky he/she stands a fair chance of getting the 86% needed to pass. Unlike when the examiner actually asked specific questions and you had to come up with the right answer yourself. Then the hazard perception part. Again with a pass mark below 59% is it really much of a test?

Once on the road, several “driving” mistakes (up to 15) are permitted, though the definition used to qualify what comes under this grouping is open to question. Quite rightly a serious fault would mean a fail. But as long as someone doesn’t do anything too stupid during their 40 minute drive they’ve cracked it, and are then set for the next  50+ years, with no further checks.

I believe too much emphasis is placed on simply “passing the test” (take it often enough and it becomes a memory exercise), instead of demanding a higher standard of ability from the outset, but while it’s such a lucrative earner for the government I doubt there’ll be any rush discourage applicants.

Update 06/09/14As from 1st October 2014 the fee for the theory test is reduced. UK transport policy: “let’s grab even more applicants!”

A vehicle is potentially a lethal weapon, the standards required to use one should be high, much higher than we currently see on today’s roads!

Set the standards right from the start; make it a real test.


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