Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency
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Safety questions move up a gear

Safety questions move up a gear

DRIVING STANDARDS AGENCY News Release (DSA 18/08) issued by The Government News Network on 12 May 2008

The safety questions asked by examiners at the start of the practical driving tests are moving up a gear. They have been revised and updated and from July 1 some additional questions will be included.

The number of questions asked will remain the same but new questions will more accurately reflect the need for candidates to have the skills and knowledge to be safe on the road.

The new questions will cover the use of wipers, demisters, brake lights, fog lights, head restraints, Automated Braking System (ABS) warning lights and the correct operation of relevant controls and switches.

Chief Driving Examiner Trevor Wedge said: "We committed to reviewing the questions in the 'Show Me Tell Me' section of practical tests for all categories of vehicle and we have now finished that review. The extra questions reflect the need to be able to show a basic knowledge about the various safety checks a driver should make before driving a vehicle"

The full list of questions and combinations can be downloaded from http://www.dsa.gov.uk

Notes to Editors:

1. The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is an executive agency * of the Department for Transport.

2. The DSA's vision is "Safe Driving for Life" with an overall mission to contribute towards a Government target of achieving a 40% reduction in riders and drivers killed or seriously injured in road accidents, in the age group up to 24 years, by 2010.

3. Current information on road casualties is available from the Department for Transport website: http://www.dft.gov.uk

4. The Agency's aim is to promote road safety through setting standards for drivers, riders and trainers, testing drivers and riders fairly and efficiently, maintaining the registers of Approved Driving Instructors; Large Goods Vehicle Instructors; Fleet Trainers; Driving Instructor Trainers and Post Test Motorcycle Trainers; supervising Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) for learner motorcyclists; and driver education and the provision of learning resources.

5. DSA is a trading fund * with an expected turnover of around £199 million for the year 2008/9, fully funded by fee income and revenue from its activities.

6. DSA employs over 2,700 staff, of which some 2,000 are driving examiners based at over 400 test centres across mainland Great Britain. In 2007/2008 the Agency conducted 1.8 million practical tests for car drivers, over 95,000 vocational tests and 94,000 motorcycle rider tests. A total of 1.7 million theory tests were carried out at 158 centres. At the end of the year there were around 43,600 people on the Register of Approved Driving Instructors.

7. DSA was one of the first Government Agencies to introduce an online booking service. Candidates can book and manage their theory and practical test appointments on line at http://www.direct.gov.uk/drivingtest

* Executive agency:

An executive agency is semi-detached from its parent department and manages its own budget with freedom from ad hoc, day to day intervention and much of central, government-wide regulation. They are run under the organisation and direction of a Chief Executive recruited through open competition. An executive agency has accountability for the performance of specific operational tasks as a corporate unit, including focused performance targets set by the parent department and personal accountability of the chief executive for performance.

* Trading Fund:

A trading fund is a means of financing trading activities undertaken by Government that would previously have been financed by annual appropriation from Parliament. A trading fund permits the establishment of a self-accounting unit that remains under the control and management of Ministers and accountable to Parliament through Ministers, but has greater freedom to manage its financial affairs. Effectively that means the trading fund body can use its income to settle its liabilities and retain year-end cash balances.

Establishing the trading fund does not alter the Agency's constitutional position and it remains part of the Department for Transport.

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