Driverless cars and ageing drivers lead road revolution
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Driverless cars, sat navs in tests and older drivers leading to big shake-up on British roads
British Government bosses are planning the biggest shake up in motoring since the introduction of the driving test in 1935.
Driverless cars, older drivers and sat navs in driving tests are all being considered as part of a roads revolution.
Officials are also planning to boost the driving test pass rate - currently below 50 per cent - and introduce evening and weekend slots to make testing more flexible.
Ministers also want to increase from 70 to 75 the age at which motorists must declare they are fit to drive.
And the document also looks at ways the test can be changed to reflect an expected increase in the number of driverless cars over the next decade.
Under a separate review of the driving test, the format could even be changed so that drivers are required to follow sat nav instructions for a 20 minute period.
The Independent on Sunday says it has seen a draft of the Department for Transport's consultation document which is set to be officially unveiled in October.
The newspaper reports that this is ahead of a new strategy on the future of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the Vehicle Certification Authority (VCA
It says options are being explored to shrink the DVSA's test centre estate to free up land for housing - a move that could mean job losses.
The private sector would be brought in to provide examiners and tests centres where necessary, it has been reported.
Another proposal would see examiners taking pictures of successful test candidates straight after their exams to reduce delays in issuing licences
Labour’s shadow roads minister, Richard Burden, told the newspaper: ‘A number of these changes, if done right, have some merit to them.
'But the track record of the Conservatives has been that every time they attempt a reorganisation, there has been chaos.’
According to the Independent on Sunday, the Government symbolically timing the proposals to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the driving test.
The document states: 'In the 130 years since Karl Benz built the first modern motor car there has been continuous and accelerated development of automotive technology.
'Such development will doubtless continue, with the prospect of driverless cars now a real possibility.'
The consultation will also highlight how advances in technology are prompting rapid changes in the motoring world.
New safety measures are also being prepared by Government officials in a bid to lower the number of deaths on Britain's roads.
A DfT spokesman told the newspaper: 'We are currently considering options for developing the motoring services agencies and will consult later in the year. We cannot at this stage comment on the detail.'