From tomorrow, the practical driving test will be longer and more difficult. Learner drivers will be tested on the same things as before, like parallel parking, but they will also have to show they are watching other road users and can anticipate what these people will do. Is that person on the footpath going to step onto the pedestrian crossing? Is that driver getting ready to stop? Is that cyclist going to continue straight ahead or turn left?
Young drivers with a learner licence need 120 hours of supervised driving practice with a parent or other experienced driver. This practice should include driving in rain and driving at night. After 120 hours, they could be ready for their practical driving test.
New Zealand has a very high rate of car crashes with teenage drivers. On average, one teenager dies in a car crash every week in this country. This tougher practical test may help to prepare young drivers for driving alone.
Listen to May 5th 2011 to hear more about young people and driving licences.
parallel parking – the car is parallel with the edge of the road
anticipate – guess what will happen and be prepared
supervised – another person guides the young driver to help them learn
experienced driver – someone who has been driving for many years
tough – opposite is ‘easy’
Why do young drivers crash – is it lack of experience or some other reason?
Do you think this new test will reduce the number of car crashes by teenage drivers?