New French driving test foxes four in five
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A French bid to reduce car accidents by toughening up driving test questions has ended in failure.
Learners are said to have been stumped by oblique questions in the revamped 40 question quiz, while in one département only a single candidate from 60 managed to make the grade.
The new questions have been introduced in an attempt to stem the rising levels of road fatalities in France, and focus on driver judgment and road safety.
The minimum mark is 35 out of 40, and the former version of the test normally saw around a pass-rate of about 70 per cent.
But reports suggested that as many as 83 per cent failed the new version, introduced on Monday, after measures to tackle cheating and replace questions based on pictures with videos were introduced.
Candidates were also invited to respond to cryptic True or False statements like: ‘At 80kph, the visual field of a driver [is] sixty degrees.’
Emmanuel Barbe, France’s road safety czar, said: ‘We are analysing the questions which caused difficulty. We will withdraw them temporarily and redraft them if necessary.’
He also advised driving instructors to improve their teaching for the written test.
Road deaths in France increased by 3.7 per cent to 3,388 in 2014 with the biggest spike among pedestrians, cyclists and scooter riders.
In 2013 there were 3,250 road deaths in France.
This equates to five road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in the same year.
In a bid to tackle the problem, the Interior Ministry has introduced a raft of new road safety measures, including reducing speed limits in accident blackspots and banning drivers from wearing headphones.