Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency
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Driving theory test changes for bus, coach and lorry drivers

Driving theory test changes for bus, coach and lorry drivers

DRIVING STANDARDS AGENCY News Release (DSA 33/08) issued by The Government News Network on 1 August 2008

Improving standards for professional drivers and increasing road safety measures mean that bus, coach and lorry drivers will have some additional theory test questions from August 4.

From August 4 drivers will be tested on 100 questions and need to correctly answer 85 of the100 to pass the multiple choice part of the test. Currently drivers get 60 questions and need to score 51 out of 60 to pass. The number of hazard perception clips will also increase from 14 to 19 and the pass mark will increase from 50 out of 75, to 67 out of 100.

The other theory test change, which is being made at the request of the industry, is to split the test into two parts. This will allow candidates to take the multiple choice element separately from the hazard perception element; and in either order. This change aims to avoid potential recruits being put off entering the industry due to the length of the test as a single event.

The Director of Driver Education and Learning at the Driving Standards Agency, Jill Lewis, said: "These changes aim to further improve road safety and driving standards for professional bus, coach and lorry drivers. The changes represent a step change in our approach to delivering drivers to the standard needed by the road freight and passenger transport sectors.'

To accommodate the changes, the cost of the theory test will increase from £32 to £50 (£35 for the multiple choice test and £15 for the hazard perception test) for those taking their test from the 4th August. Tests can be booked separately.

This theory test upgrade comes in preparation for the introduction of the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) which is a qualification aimed at raising the standard of drivers entering the industry. Driver CPC will be implemented on September 10 for the bus and coach industry, and September 10 next year for the lorry industry.

Notes to Editor:
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 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'

8. 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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