Driving test celebrates 80 years

June 3 2015  

Driving test celebrates 80 years
Eighty years have passed since the driving test was introduced in Great Britain. The test became compulsory on 1 June 1935, when there were 1.5M cars and over 7000 people lost their lives on the roads annually.
 
Within a year of the test being introduced the number of deaths had fallen by 1000.
 
Key dates in the evolution of the driving test include 1975, when candidates stopped being tested on hand signals, 1996 when the theory test was introduced and 2010 when a 10 minute ‘independent driving’ section began to be used.
 
The first person to take a driving test was a Mr R Beere, who paid 7/6d (37.5p) for the privilege. No test centres had been established in 1935 so candidates had meet their examiner outside a public place such as a railway station or town hall.
 
In 1935 the pass rate was 63%, compared to 47% in 2014. Around 50M tests have been taken in Great Britain to date.
 
“This country has a proud tradition of leading innovation and the driving test is just one example of us continually improving, making our roads some of the safest in the world,” said Transport Minister Lord Ahmad.
 
Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency chief executive Alastair Peoples added: “The driving test has adapted over the years to stay up to date with modern driving, and we continue to keep it under review to ensure it is as relevant and effective as possible.”
 
(Photo: Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency)

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