The New Driving test and Motoring Offences

On the 4th December 2017, changes to the 21 year old driving test have been made. It has been updated to include following a sat nav and driving independently for 20 minutes. The new test has been introduced because the Department of Transport figures have shown that younger drivers are up to 7 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured compared to those over 25 years of age. The main issue is thought to be lack of experience so this new test, which lasts for around 40 minutes, is supposed to give new drivers more practical skills for when driving after passing their test. For example, vehicle safety questions are asked throughout the test i.e. how to wash the windscreen, using the cars controls and wipers. Although the new changes still do not involve the motorway, learners will be allowed to take motorway driving lessons with an approved instructor. The test will continue to be updated as new technological developments occur all the time. With cars becoming more advanced, new skills need to be learnt and therefore taught at an early age.

One of the main reason for the changes is to try to prevent so many deaths on the roads in Britain. Motoring offences include speeding, careless driving, dangerous driving, excess alcohol/ drug abuse, using a mobile phone whilst driving or failing to stop after being involved in an accident and reporting it. In 2016 the highest number of offences were seen since 2007, with speeding offences on the rise. Convictions for dangerous, careless, or drink driving fell. The number of motorists caught speeding has increased by nearly 40 per cent over the last six years. This represents a rise of 37.5 per cent increase since 2011, when around 1.6 million such offences were recorded. 176,000 prosecutions were brought to Courts for these offences in 2016, nearly 100,000 fewer than were brought in 2011.

The laws surrounding motoring offences are complicated. An experienced team of solicitors is vital to represent drivers in Magistrates and Crown Courts. Magistrates Courts frequently deal with people who are likely to be disqualified for speeding and driving while using a mobile phone. If a driver has 12 penalty points or more in a 3 year period they can face disqualification for a minimum period of 6 months. However, Exceptional Hardship can be granted if applied for to the Court resulting in the driver retaining their licence despite having more than 12 points on their licence. Paul Robinson Solicitors specialise in Exceptional Hardship applications and have an impressive record in assisting clients successfully avoiding disqualification, representing them at Court. If you need assistance with a motoring matter please contact our motoring specialist team on 01702 338338 or 01277 500123.

This article is created by a Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP “Brand Ambassador” who are students and unqualified. The article provides their views on the topic and does not necessarily deal with every important topic or cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not designed to provide legal or other advice and nor does it necessarily reflect the views of this firm.