Motorists should re-take their driving test every five years, study suggests

EMBARGOED TO 0001 THURSDAY MAY 29 EDITORIAL USE ONLY EDS NOTE THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SET UP Keith, 61, from West Wickham in Kent, who passed his driving test in 1971, takes a mock driving test with Dave, a driving instructor, in Lee, south east London, as part of a new study from Direct Line Car Insurance. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday May 29, 2014. According to the study by Direct Line, which tested drivers to see how people pick up bad habits over time, 76% of experienced motorists would fail if they were to re-sit their driving test today. See PA story TRANSPORT DrivingTest. Photo credit should read: Geoff Caddick/PA Wire

More than half of motorists support changes to the driving test to improve standards on the road. A recent poll of 2,000 motorists by Continental Tyres revealed support for frequent updates to the test - and that regular retests would be supported.

The study found that drivers believe tests should be retaken every five years to improve road safety, as well as to aid competence with new automotive technologies such as sat-nav and automatic driver aids.

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The research comes on the same day driving examiners chose to strike in order to protest changes to the test. The new driving test includes increased independent driving time as well as a section where pupils accept instructions from a sat-nav. However, examiners are striking over a purported dangerous manoeuvre.

These test changes mark just the eighth revision to the practical driving test since it was introduced in 1935. When polled by Continental, almost 50 per cent of people agreed more frequent updates were necessary.

The poll also revealed that drivers want to see revisions that are more safety focused. Sixty-four per cent would like better understanding of the laws surrounding mobile phones, while 57 per cent would like routine safety checks included in the test – such as tyre pressures and tread depth.

Mark Griffiths, safety expert at Continental Tyres, said: "It is interesting that people would accept sitting their practical driving test every five years. It's good to see people recognise safety is important and that they understand there are a lot of automotive technologies to keep up with.

"The findings are at odds with the confirmed changes to the driving test. Clearly people want safety prioritised – like knowing more about the legal use of mobile phones when driving as well as other issues around driving practice."

Related video: Reckless driver mounts kerb to pass learner during a test

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