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Dublin: 7°C Sunday 11 April 2021

You may be judged on your fuel efficiency in a new driving test

The RSA wants your view but it has some of its own ideas.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE ROAD SAFETY Authority is suggesting that there should be more on-road driving time during driving tests and possibly less direction from the tester.

The RSA has asked for the public’s view on how the driving test should be changed but have also put forward some of their own suggestions.

These also include that eco-efficient driving should be measured during the test, something that could be used as fault incurring aspect of the test contributing to the overall pass or fail of a candidate.

Other suggestions from the RSA include:

  • Altering the oral test to focus on understanding of the rules of the road and greater risk awareness rather than knowledge of the rules.
  • Removing the oral part of the practical test.
  • Greater feedback after the test.

While detailing the amount of time currently spent during the test, the RSA say that the test lasts in total for about 50 minutes with 25 minutes of on-road driving time. There is scope to lengthen this section they say and are asking for the public’s input on whether it is appropriate.

In terms of removing the direction of testers for part of the test, the RSA say that “independent driving” is not part of the test in Ireland but is used internationally:

Independent driving has been introduced in the Netherlands, Great Britain, Finland and Sweden, with some documented success where it was perceived as “real” driving by test candidates and their Instructors. There are reports which show that learner drivers believe that “real driving” (driving as a licenced driver) is fundamentally different from the driving required to pass the practical test.

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The RSA also want people to consider whether fuel efficiency should be measured as part of the driving test. The authority says that ‘many eco-driving techniques are also recognisably safe driving techniques’.

If you want to have your say on the proposals, here’s how to do it.

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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