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Driving test to be more challenging

The driving test is to be more of a challenge to candidates' navigational skills under examination changes to be introduced next month, the Government has announced.

From October 4, candidates will drive for about 10 minutes without step-by-step direction from their examiner.

This will involve either following a series of directions, following traffic signs or a combination of both.

Also from October 4, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) will no longer publish details of test routes, with new routes being introduced.

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: "We want new drivers to be able to drive safely and independently and learning to drive test routes by rote isn't the way to achieve this.

"Stopping the publication of test routes will help to make sure that the driving test better reflects realistic driving conditions and will give new drivers the skills and confidence they need to stay safe on the roads."

DSA's chief driving examiner Trevor Wedge said: "Evidence shows that the biggest challenge newly qualified drivers face after passing their test is learning how to cope when they no longer have their instructor there to help and prompt them.

"We want to make sure that new drivers and riders are ready to make their own decisions when driving alone. Learning how to do that in preparation for their test should lead to better and safer drivers."

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