Driving instructors rally against changes to the test

L plate on a car
Thousands of UK driving instructors have hit out at upcoming changes to the driving test, signing a petition to ban one of the newly required manoeuvres. They say the proposed move is not only unsafe, but breaks the Highway Code.

Changes to the test are due to arrive on December 4, but 2,300 people have signed a petition to ban a new manoeuvre from appearing in it. The test requires candidates to pull up on the right-hand side of the road before reversing two car lengths.

Driving instructors say that the move is unsafe, putting inexperienced drivers at risk when moving across oncoming traffic to get back to their own lane. Worse than that, they say it contradicts a rule of the Highway code – rule 239: "Do not park facing the traffic flow."

The driving instructor who started the online petition, said: "Both myself and every driving instructor I've spoken to are totally against this idea as it's such a dangerous exercise.

"How are they going to move out safely? If they're starting to pull out blindly and the examiner sees something coming what does he or she do?"

However, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency defended the addition of the manoeuvre. It said: "DVSA is committed to helping people through a lifetime of safe driving and the new test will better assess a driver's ability to drive safely and independently. The manoeuvre. It said: "DVSA is committed to helping people through a lifetime of safe driving and the new test will better assess a driver's ability to drive safely and independently. The new manoeuvre reflects how people actually drive and it is vital they have the knowledge and skills to do it safely, which is why it is included.


  1. I understand the concerns of those regarding this particular manoeuvre within the driving test, however are they not getting carried away just a little?

    Personally I would prefer that the test remain as it is because manoeuvres like turn in the road and left and right reverse turns are fundamental and the emphasis is on developing Observation, Control and Accuracy and the reasons for it. However, regardless I will continue to ensure that all my pupils are proficient in these manoeuvres. I'm not just teaching someone to pass their driving test but teaching a style of driving for life.

    The highway code is thorough in laying out what is required of all road users in order to keep us safe, but not everyone cares or perhaps knows or they forget. I have seen so called experienced drivers carry out a turn in the road or a left reverse turn with very poor observation and would certainly fail their driving test if they had to resit it again.

    The highway code does state "Do not park facing against the traffic flow" but how else is the LGV driver going to make their deliveries that we urgently need or how will John Smith collect his newspaper in the morning....However the highway code does place more emphasis on certain situations with words in bold capital letters in black or red, MUST; MUST NOT; DO NOT....For example, Rule 248! And how many drivers know when and where you can park on the opposite side against the flow of traffic at night???? How many drivers know about Rule 249! However the consequences of getting it wrong in the event of someone getting injured could result in prosecution or in an accident not being covered by their insurance policy....

    In the real world not everyone does as they should and I believe this manoeuvre is based on these situations and how to best deal with it safely.

    Bill M


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