The Driving Standards Agency is to stop publishing the multiple choice questions and answers used in the driving theory test. From January 2012 it will create a new test using unpublished questions.
The move was announced by Road Safety Minister Mike Penning today to ensure new drivers learn the principles behind driving theory instead of just memorising the answers to pre-set questions.
Car insurance has risen by 11.5%
The government is desperate to reduce the number of road accidents involving young motorists following calls from road safety groups and insurers for new training methods to be imposed.
Official figures have shown that one in three killed or seriously hurt in road traffic collisions in the UK is between 17 and 24 years old.
And recent figures from the AA British Insurance Premium Index have revealed an 11.5% rise in car insurance prices in the third quarter of 2010, hiked up by accident-prone young drivers.
Penning said: “The driving theory test should help to prepare drivers for real life on the road – good driving is not just about vehicle-handling skills, but also about having the knowledge and understanding of safe driving theory.
“No longer publishing these questions and answers will mean that successful candidates will have to understand the theory rather than simply memorising the answers.
“I believe that this – along with other changes we are making to the driving test regime – will lead to better drivers and safer roads.”
Preparations for theory test change to start in September 2011
With the theory test itself changing as of 1 January 2012, the DSA will start to change the format of books and other learning tools that help new drivers prepare for the computer-based portion of the driving test next September.
Practice questions and answers will still be available to help with revision, but these will not appear in the test itself from January 2012.
These new restrictions on the theory test come just a month after changes to the practical part of the driving test were introduced.
Candidates now only have to perform one driving manoeuvre instead of two, but also have to undertake a 10-minute Independent Driving session using road signs or verbal directions.