Mandatory Re-testing ? - steveb
After watching Britains Worst Driver - it's quite clear that most of these people shouldn't be allowed to keep their licence.

What are the Back Room's thoughts on mandatory licence re-testing ? Perhaps every 3-5 years ? It would certainly keep these lunatics off the road.

Obviously there would be serious cost implications etc - but worth it ?

Mandatory Re-testing ? - 8 ball
I try to avoid such drek as "Britain's Worst Driver" but as far as mandatory retesting is concerned it must have a place so I'll run the following up the flagpole:
Mandatory retesting
-following any driving ban
-every 5 years when age 65 comes up on the body clock
-any conviction for dangerous driving not incurring a ban (can this happen?)
-following 3 accidents considered in court to be the fault of the potential retest candidate
As to cost - to be borne entirely by the retestee.

8 ball
Mandatory Re-testing ? - Phil I
8ball wrote: every five years when 65 .

This would be better as
At 70 then every three years. : Current licences now expire at 70 but are renewable with just a declaration by the licensee which is a quite ridiculous state of affairs. Should also be accompanied by full medical carried out by independent doctor not licensee GP.

Phil I
Mandatory Re-testing ? - Andrew-T
steve - not a bad idea in principle. And I suppose it might keep the particular group of 'lunatics' on the programme off the road, but others? I'm not so sure. There are plenty of uninsured, unlicensed and even banned lunatics on the road now, some of whom drive in the same way.
Mandatory Re-testing ? - Doc
mandatory licence re-testing ?
Perhaps every 3-5 years ?

An excellent idea!

Isn't it ridiculous that you can pass your test at 17 and drive until you are, say, 90 and never be re-assessed on your ability, despite ever-changing road conditions and new regulations.

If this were introduced, it would, by necessity, raise the overall standard of driving.

However, it would not be a vote-winner!
Mandatory Re-testing ? - martint123
Don't you think it a little odd that those who have just passed a test have more accidents than those who passed some time ago?.
From the statistics more than 50% fail their test either theory, hazard awareness or road test - I think a lot of people would fail a re-test and that includes backroomers.
As someone said, I think it would just increase the number of unlicensed drivers - how would Joe Bloggs react after say, 10 years driving to find he can't get to work anymore??
Mandatory Re-testing ? - Garethj
I've been driving a car for 15 years since passing my test at 17 and I've recently taken (and passed) my motorcycle test. My experience of road conditions and general traffic sense is probably much better than a 17 year old, but I have to say that the test was HARD!

The theory test was ok, the hazard perception was tougher (neither were in my car test 15 years ago) and the practical test made me feel as nervous as it did the first time around but it's amazing how much I learnt from reading the DAS books, the highway code and having my riding (or driving) assessed by an instructor.

In short, a re-test every 5 years would be good but it's the lessons given by the instructor that were the most benefit to me. There's no way I would have passed my test without that refresher course.

Mandatory Re-testing ? - Roger Jones
I like the idea of regular retesting, but I'd go further and call for the insurance industry to get involved. Even if relicensing isn't practicable, what about a financial incentive to keep up standards: pass this refresher test and we'll reduce your premium; fail it and you don't lose your licence but your premium goes up by more than the industry-wide uplift. Organized by the insurance industry, this would reward competent drivers and penalize the less competent where it hurts -- in the wallet.
Mandatory Re-testing ? - Burnout2
I'm completely opposed to periodic mandatory re-testing for everyone, regardless of age or driving record. Statist, heavy-handed and anti-libertarian; I'm surprised the present government doesn't have it on the statute book already.

There seems to be a BR consensus that general driving standards are unacceptably low and falling. I like to opine that the great majority of motorists are perfectly competent to drive on the public highway and that the common examples we all witness of driver error and thoughtlessness are to some extent inevitable, and remain the exception.

Mandatory re-testing would involve great personal inconvenience and be a large financial burden for many who find it difficult enough to find the resources to pay our extortionate fuel duty every time they fill up. Courses of lessons ain't cheap - and they would be necessary even for those with the necessary driving skills, given the way the test has changed in just the 11 years since I passed mine.

By all means hammer those who regularly make large insurance claims - it would be nice to find some way of personally penalising the staggering 60% of company car drivers who claim on an annual basis - but the last thing we need is to make the business of running a car even more expensive for law-abiding motorists. The hundreds of thousands driving around in untaxed cars with no MOT, insurance or license are likely to remain blissfully untouched by any such initiative.
Mandatory Re-testing ? - Cliff Pope
I agree with Burnout. Hit those who need hitting, not everyone.

On the insurance point, I have sometimes wondered why insurance companies don't give much bigger discounts over a longer period. If I stood to lose all my 90% NCD built up over 10 years, I might drive even more carefully.
Mandatory Re-testing ? - waterboy
I agree, Burnout 2.

Having been on the road since 1946 without hurting anyone I consider the best possible test. But I did one of my own ones a day or two back; Toad goes even better with the chip!

Tomo as was!
Mandatory Re-testing ? - Andrew-T
No, martin, it's not odd at all. Newly passed drivers are probably still a bit terrified, which is why some keep a P plate instead of an L, to indicate Probationary. And they are trying to learn how to drive in the same way as 'everyone else', which is by no means the same as the way to pass the test!
Mandatory Re-testing ? - SR
I would favour mandatory re-testing every 5 years, but for all ages. Many drivers' skills peak when they pass their test, then they think they know it all and the bad habits start to set in. I would also look to make the retests to a higher standard than the original test, to reinforce the fact that after passing the test your driving should improve with experience

Look at "Worst Driver" - they're not all in the senior age group.

Making sure your standards stayed up and you could get through the retest without additional lessons would allow a financial saving for the more responsible....

Of course there would still be those who decide to do without a licence anyway, and something has to be done about that aspect. I wonder if someone could invent a camera for that....
Mandatory Re-testing ? - steveb
My own view is that it should be made compulsory, every 5 years for all ages as SR said.

Driving is not a right for people, like many things in life they must be earned. In my profession we have compulsory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to maintian skills and proficiency. In my view the same should apply to driving - even more so - as I couldn't kill anyone in my job (hopefully) - but certainly could in a car etc etc.

The test itself needent be a full one - perhaps a check of core driving skills and awareness, with a general knowledge of the HC perhaps ?

Mandatory Re-testing ? - cockle {P}
Steveb, I was just thinking along the same lines when up popped your post.

In many lines of work now you come across continuous assessment and monitoring to maintain consistent standards, so why not for driving?

As you say rather than a full test and lose your licence and therefore possibly your livelihood perhaps something along the lines of an IAM observed drive with a grading at the end. If you are really dreadful an enforcable refresher similar to the ones on trial for speeding and minor traffic offences. The carrot being that you could take your grading to your insurers and maybe get a sliding scale discount against your premium.

As to eligibility, how about two years after getting a licence, a further three years, and then every five years thereafter; on the basis that most accidents occur in the first couple of years, the worst bad habits are inbuilt by five years and the fear of losing your NCB and extra experience is ingrained by ten years.

Mandatory Re-testing ? - steveb
... and if your job depends on your driving - there's every incentive to remain proficient...

Mandatory Re-testing ? - SR
Great idea - if your job requires you to drive, make sure you're good at it, instead of waiting until you're up in court and facing loss of licence, then pleading that you'll lose your job if you can't drive.....should've thought of that before, then, shouldn't you?
Mandatory Re-testing ? - James_Jameson
If these utterly incompetent drivers have already passed their test, why would a re-test make any difference? It's the same test isn't it?

I think it's the quality of the test in the first place that seems to be the problem.

Maybe with better skilled drivers on the road, the "authorities" wouldn't take the easy option and keep lowering speed limits.

(However, of course the revenue consideration would probably be of significance here.)
Mandatory Re-testing ? - Welliesorter
If these utterly incompetent drivers have already passed their test, why
would a re-test make any difference? It's the same test isn't

As someone who only passed this year I can assure you that they would fail by a significant margin.

They'd clearly learned at some time in the past and then forgotten everything. In particular it's hard to believe that the retired police officer was always as bad as he was in the programme.

It's not the same test. Bits have been added in the past few years and it's longer than it used to be. Most of those people wouldn't have had to do certain manouvres when they were tested and they wouldn't have been able to fail for making too many minor errors.

The pass rate at my two nearest test centres is about 30 per cent and that's not untypical in urban areas.
Mandatory Re-testing ? - spikeyhead {p}
Many drivers' skills peak when they pass their test,
then they think they know it all and the bad habits
start to set in.

I have never read such utter rubbish in my life.

Just what did you base this on, the fact that insurance is really cheap just after you pass your test and then gets steadily higher?
Please, if you feel your comments are justified then let us all know the reasoning.
I read often, only post occaisionally
Mandatory Re-testing ? - JamesH
>> Many drivers' skills peak when they pass their test,
>> then they think they know it all and the bad habits
>> start to set in.
I have never read such utter rubbish in my life.

Seems reasonable to me if it means 'a peak' instead of 'the peak'.

Think of all the accidents young/inexperienced drivers are involved in, the speeds and 'showing off' driving by the baseball caps, high insurance premiums, etc. I'm sure there are far fewer accidents with an instructor in the car and L plates compared to a newly qualified.

Of course, with experience the overall standard of driving will improve over time. No amount of pre-test preparation is as valuable as many years behind the wheel.

However, I think a test a year or so after after passing would help weed out the easily picked up bad habits.
Mandatory Re-testing ? - Vagelis
When you are being tested to get your driving license, you have prepared for it: you've read your books, attended driving courses, driven with the instructor by your side telling you what's right and correcting you.

After 5 years, you have forgotten all the small details that can cost you your license, and adjusted to every-day driving, which tends to be worse than driving for the license.

How would you feel if someone came along, interrupted you from your normal schedule, re-tested your driving skills and told you that you are no longer permitted to drive, you should have more driving courses, get re-tested and took away your license? Just because you failed on some tests that could well be of no importance under real conditions?

I would agree with periodic health checkups, however.

Mandatory Re-testing ? - Garethj
A bit like flying, driving is a privilege, not a right! However it would be less confrontational if it was an insurance hike instead of losing the licence.

I agree that there's the danger it could be turned into a money making scheme by underhanded government, lots of people fail and they make money by re-tests. I'm suprised it's not in place already.
Mandatory Re-testing ? - THe Growler
I am a TEFL and an IELTS tester. I do occasional work for candidates who wish to get UK or Aus entry visas for the purposes of work or immigration, as required by the Embassies.

I teach candidates to pass the test, I cannot spend a lifetime teaching them better English, That will only come from immersion in their new environment.

Driving lessons are the same, they teach you to pass a test. Real driving skills come from practical experience.

Mandatory Re-testing ? - SR
"After 5 years, you have forgotten all the small details that can cost you your license, and adjusted to every-day driving, which tends to be worse than driving for the license."

I think this illustrates the problem perfectly - if we accept that people's skills diminish after passing their test, and we've all seen the low standards of some drivers who have just scraped through the test, we are accepting the dangerous drivers of the future.

That's why I would support a higher standard of follow-up and maintenance than the original test. Too many people are trained to pass their driving test, not taught to drive - there is a difference. They then think their skills are complete, and begin to make their own judgements on what is and isn't correct. A few years later, we can all guess where that leaves them.

On the mention of health checks, a regular re-test would give the opportunity for basic checks such as eyesight.

Mandatory Re-testing ? - THe Growler
How many of these posters standing on the "mandatory re-testing (for old people, previous offenders, you name it)" soapbox would be ready to submit themselves to the same regime?

Come on let's hear you.
Mandatory Re-testing ? - Garethj
Growler, I'd be prepared to submit to a re-test which I would probably (but not definately!) pass. However it would be nice if the test were different to the first one though, certainly including motorways for example.

Mandatory Re-testing ? - Vagelis
"After 5 years, you have forgotten all the small details that can cost you your license, and adjusted to every-day driving, which tends to be worse than driving for the license."

"if we accept that people's skills diminish after passing their test, and we've all seen the low standards of some drivers who have just scraped through the test, we are accepting the dangerous drivers of the future."

I phrased it the wrong way. I didn't mean that an experienced driver drives worse than a new one. After all, experience is what really counts and, in the end, makes you drive preventively, actually seeing potential bad situations and acting beforehand. This cannot happen with a new driver.

What IMO experienced drivers tend to forget are little details that count for the examiners: looking through a mirror when you usually don't need to, the way you pull out from parked, etc. Such things that in every-day driving are perhaps unnecessary. Things that a new driver is aware examiners are looking for to say "sorry".

Are you sure that if you were re-tested tomorrow you would pass?

Mandatory Re-testing ? - Vagelis
Above post intended as a response to Garethj's post.

Mandatory Re-testing ? - Maxine
Interesting replies, but don't think I would go for the re-testing idea because...

After passing my original test first time & then happily driving around for almost two years I fell foul of the 'New Drivers 2 year rule'... basically I got 6 points on my licence (quite easily done!) & you then get a nice letter from Swansea telling you that they're cancelling your (full) licence and that you need to apply for a provisional licence and drive as a learner until you pass your test again! Not as easy as it sounds, believe me!!! Several failed tests later, I've decided to give it up and have done a moped CBT to at least give me some freedom to get about on my own!

So do think twice before offering to give up your licence!!!

Mandatory Re-testing ? - SR
Growler, some of us voluntarily subject ourselves to re-testing by going through some form of advanced driving test. I'm not advocating re-testing for eome minority I have a particular problem with, but for everyone to ensure consistent, safe standards.

Maxine, I think your experience perfectly illustrates the case for re-testing. You passed your test and within 2 years you had picked up enough bad habits to manage to get yourself 6 points by the end of that period (not sure I would agree it's "easily done" unless your driving had deteriorated substantially since passing). Then, only 2 years after being deemed fit to drive you find it impossible to pass the test again.

Maybe if you'd known when you passed originally that there was another more stringent test a few years away, instead of knowing the original test could be the only time your driving would be assessed professionally, you would have made more of an effort to continue to improve after the original pass.


Value my car