A Really Testing Time; the Driving Test Is Now 80 Years Old and, Here, We Give You a Chance to See How Good Your Knowledge of the Highway Code Is with Examples from the More Modern Theory Examination

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), March 20, 2015 | Go to article overview

A Really Testing Time; the Driving Test Is Now 80 Years Old and, Here, We Give You a Chance to See How Good Your Knowledge of the Highway Code Is with Examples from the More Modern Theory Examination


Byline: Maggie Barry.barry@roadrecord.co.uk

You are in town and ahead of you a bus is at a bus stop. What two things should you look out for? If these questions made you pause for a second then perhaps it is time you reviewed your Highway Code.

Every year, more than a million of us take our driving test and, according to the latest figures, every year, more and more of us fail.

The compulsory driving test was first introduced in 1935 and, as the years have progressed, it has entailed increasing detail - perhaps in recognition of the growing dangers as our roads carry larger numbers of vehicles.

The theory test as a written examination was first used in 1996 and was updated to a computer based test in 2000.

In 2007, the number of questions in the theory test was increased from 35 to 50 and, in 2009, a case study was introduced to put learning into context and test new drivers' comprehension of a whole subject area.

Today, aspiring drivers must answer 43 questions correctly out of 50 to progress to the practical test. The time limit is 57 minutes.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency denies that the questions have got any more difficult but the pass rate has fallen from 65.4 per cent in 2007/08 to 51.4 per cent today, with girls doing marginally better than boys.

A spokesman for the DVSA said: "The theory test requires candidates to demonstrate they have a good knowledge of the rules of the road and the theory behind safe driving. We keep the test under constant review to ensure it remains as effective as possible."

Would you pass today's theory test? Take our specially constructed exam of 10 questions and find out.

QUESTIONS: Q2. A heavy load on your roof rack will (mark one answer): reduce the stopping distance reduce stability make the steering lighter improve the road holding Q4. Your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, but they may not always prevent skidding. This is most likely to happen when driving (mark two answers): on dry tarmac at night on unlit roads on surface water in foggy conditions on loose road surfaces Q6. You are towing a trailer on a motorway. What is your maximum speed limit (mark one answer)? 50 mph 70 mph 60 mph 40 mph Q8. You are approaching a busy junction. There are several lanes with road markings. At the last moment, you realise that you are in the wrong lane. You should (mark one answer): continue in that lane force your way across stop until the area has cleared use clear arm signals to cut across Q10. The white line along the side of the road (mark one answer): shows the edge of the carriageway shows the approach to a hazard means no overtaking means no parking ANSWERS A2. A heavy load on your roof rack will: reduce stability.

Explanation: A heavy load on your roof rack will reduce the stability of the vehicle because it moves the centre of gravity away from that designed by the manufacturer. Be aware of this when you negotiate bends and corners. If you change direction at speed then your vehicle and/or load could become unstable and you could lose control.

A3. You see a pedestrian with a white stick and red band. This means that the person is: deaf and blind.

Explanation: If someone is deaf as well as blind, they may be carrying a white stick with a red reflective band. You can't see if a pedestrian is deaf. …

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