Happy Birthday to ……... The UK Driving Test!
The driving test is turning 80 this year! Back in 1934 the driving test was introduced in response to the rising number of road deaths and was made law by the Road Traffic Act 1934. Mr J Beene was the first person to pass and he paid the grant total of 37p!
All these years on the driving test is coming under criticism as young drivers remain the most at risk on the roads, there has been much talk of altering the law so young drivers face restrictions on the times they are allowed to drive and whether they can carry passengers or not but nothing as of yet has changed.
In the UK you can apply for your provisional licence at 16 and begin driving lessons at 17, there is a theory test and practical test, then you are let out onto the road with a full licence that has no restrictions.
Here at Rivervale Car Leasing we decided to take a look at driving tests around the world to see how the UK’s test compares ……… what we found may put you off driving in some other countries forever!
Over in Pakistan you have to wait until you are 18 before you can start driving, but the process is fast you can do the theory test and take the practical test in the same day. You won’t have needed much practice as the practical test is just a short course of cones to drive round, so unsurprisingly the pass rate is a high 80%!
In Egypt after a quick 10 question test and a drive around an s shaped course you are good to go! Over in Mexico it’s even easier there is no driving test if you are 18 or over all you have to do is pay £28 and then you can get out on the road!
At the other extreme in South Africa you need to be 18 to drive and must pass a yard test and a very strict road test. You can lose points if you don’t check beneath your car for leaks before you begin or if you don’t use your hand break silently every time you stop! You could fail instantly if at any point your car rolls backwards. This has led to a very low pass rate of 39% but some learners may bribe officials to make sure they pass.
In Japan the pass rate is even lower – it’s just below 35%. Prospective drivers are tested on a course where they must remain at 30 kmph or below throughout. The rules are tight - you can fail instantly if you drive over a curb, if you don’t stay left enough in your lane or if you do not bend low enough when checking for cats and children before getting in the car.
Some countries have a really complicated procedure that you would probably need lessons in to understand before you even start driving! Firstly at 16 if you want to learn to drive you need to enrol in the Gradual Rearing of Adult Drivers, then you will complete an exam checking your knowledge of traffic laws, road signs and rules. Once this test is completed you can go on to get your learners permit and so can begin driving lessons. After 40 hours of training you can upgrade your licence to a provisional. Once you have had your provisional licence for 6 months or have turned 17 you can get your full licence, but this licence will be with conditions to restrict driving. It is only years later when you reach 21 you can get your full licence with no restrictions.
So after reading these is our system really so bad???!!!
The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.
20 November 2014
Written by Rivervale