Driving Test Pass or Distinction

Pass Certificate

Would you be happy with a pass?

Driving Test Pass or distinction. Will you be happy with a test pass or would you aim a little bit higher if a better grade was available.

The idea is that if you achieved a higher grade, currently being referred to as a ‘distinction’ you could be rewarded with lower insurance costs. It’s not government policy, merely an idea by current Skills Minister Matthew Hancock.

Mr Hancock, says that a distinction grade is being made available for people completing apprenticeships and he believes such a scheme could provide a greater incentive to become safer drivers.
The idea is quite a good one but there are obstacles that could prevent it from ever being implemented. The main problem as far as I can see is that the present system of driver evaluation will not easily lend itself to such a scheme.

Currently, a driving test candidate starts the test with the presumption that he is a perfectly good driver with no faults marked against him. To pass the test he must drive around a set course which intended to last about 35 – 40 minutes. The examiner records faults as they go round and the candidate passes if less than 16 faults is recorded and providing none of them were potentially or actually dangerous.

Not getting a fault does not necessarily mean that the candidate has acquired a higher standard of driving and is quite possible, with a little bit of good luck, for really bad drivers to pass the driving test.

Perhaps the test should be changed to an assessment of how well a person drives instead of simply counting faults. The DSA has in the past argued that such if such a system were implemented, it would be more difficult to ensure consistency of marking. Personally, I would argue that they already have that problem as I see little evidence of consistency already.

I have been present in the car in hundreds of driving tests and I can honestly say that I have never seen anyone fail who should have passed, given the current system of marking, but I have frequently seen people pass who should have failed, and yes I do think it has something to do with quotas.

If you think the idea of the skills minister has some merit, maybe he should be encouraged. Let me know what you think.