More than half of learners fail driving test

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Less than half of learner drivers presented for their test manage to pass, according to the latest statistics.

Figures released by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency show that of the 450,748 practical driving tests conducted in the second quarter of this year only 223,037 resulted in a pass - a rate of 49.5 per cent.

That’s still a slight improvement (1.33 per cent) on the same period in 2015 and also represents a three per cent increase in the total number of people sitting their test.

The number sitting their theory test climbed much more steeply, with 579,136 taking the test but the pass rate actually fell compared with the same period last year with a total of 293,080 succeeding - a pass rate of 51 per cent.

The latests figures follow the recent announcement by the DVSA of proposed changes to the driving test to better prepare learners for a life behind the wheel.

The proposals include increasing the ‘independent driving’ part of the test from 10 to 20 minutes; asking candidates to follow directions on a sat nav as an alternative to following road signs; replacing current manoeuvres such as ‘reverse around a corner’ with more real life scenarios for example, driving into and reversing out of a parking bay; asking one of the two vehicle safety questions while the candidate is driving.

DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said: “Great Britain’s roads are among the safest in the world. But there is scope to do more to keep road users safe - particularly newly qualified drivers.

“Making sure the test better assesses a driver’s ability to drive safely and independently is part of our strategy to help every driver through a lifetime of safe driving.”