The organisation behind the #Uk Driving Test, the DSA (Driving Standards Agency) looks set to scrap the element of the driving test that requires candidates to reverse around a corner - currently considered one of the hardest elements of the test.

Prior to a mental health diagnosis which means I have a lifetime medical ban from driving, reversing round a corner was what I failed a driving test on. I was expected not only to reverse around a corner but to do so from full sunlight, into the shade. This is next to impossible when you're already nervous, because, literally, your entire work and social life hinges on passing your driving test.

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The work and social life went out the window with the mental health diagnosis that means I'll never be granted a #Driving Licence.

Should the driving test be made easier?

A lot of people on social media are getting very upset that the test is "being made easier." Only - it's not. It's being made more relevant.

When I was asked to reverse around a corner, there was a mini-roundabout 500 yards down the road. If I'd needed to turn round, or, in fact, to enter the street I was reversing into and park on the road, in a real-world scenario I would have simply #Driven to the roundabout, turned around, turned into the road, if that was my intention and pulled up at my destination. No reversing required.

"If you can't reverse around a corner, how are you going to reverse into a parking space?" Well - in a straight line, usually.

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Also, there is nothing wrong with being the kind of driver who looks for spaces they can drive into and out of. (I was never faulted for my reverse parking, whether in a car park or on street, incidentally - only for the reverse round a corner.)

These days, with car parks springing up literally everywhere, traffic congestion meaning it's often not desirable to have cars parked on the road, and rear parking sensors to tell you where you are in relation to other vehicles. Reversing as a skill is being overtaken by events and technology. In a future of self-driving cars, the entire driving test may be rendered obsolete.

Driving tests - what's the problem?

In many other countries, the "driving" test acknowledges that the candidate is someone with no experience of controlling a car without direction. Therefore, the "test" focuses on basic capability, and awareness of legal requirements, recognition of road signs, etc.

The UK is one of the few countries, if not the only country, that tests people on a skill they can't possibly have unless they've been raised on a farm, or with access to private land, and been allowed to "mess about with motors" from a relatively young age.

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Add to this the fact that the UK is notable for its blithe belief that you automatically get given a driving licence at 17 or so, and thus "must hold the full UK driving licence" is a requirement of the vast majority of jobs, even ones that have no driving component at all and are located within reach of public transport. You have someone being tested on a skill they can't possibly have, who is in a state of extreme anxiety because their future literally depends on passing a test that many still believe has a "quota" for the number of passes they'll allow each day - something the DSA denies.

You don't learn to drive in the lessons before your test. You learn to drive once you're out there, driving, on your own, with no backup. The practical driving test should be working towards putting fewer drivers on the roads - not through quotas, but through more relevant testing.

Why does someone need to be able to drive? Those living in rural areas, or with mobility issues, should be given free driving tests, as access to a vehicle is more necessary for them than for their urban-dwelling, abled counterparts.

They should assess attitude, not skill. Some17-year-old lad who's response to passing his test is "Yeah! I'm going out canin' it with me mates tonight, man!" is not safe to be on the road. In contrast, the person in tears, because they failed on a technicality, might actually make a conscientious and safe driver.

.Driving tests should test reactions to the unexpected, not throw people into the middle of busy scenarios filled with people who will behave like idiots just to "rile up the learner." A simulator could easily take the place of the road drive.

.Driving tests could learn from motorcycle tests - you undergo Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), and then are allowed to ride a bike up to 125-150cc, on your own, for up to two years before you have to submit for a full test. In those two years, you'll genuinely learn how to ride - rather than just how to control your nerves for an hour.

Thought needs to be given to the skills needed to interact with self-driving cars. These are almost certain to take over as the future of driving, and thus it is time to move away from traditional tests, which punish people - often unduly harshly, in terms of the impact on their ability to find employment and make necessary social connections - for not being up to the standard of a driver with several years' experience behind them.

It is also worth noting that the majority of accidents on UK roads involving young drivers involve those who have recently passed their test - implying that the test is no identifier of driving ability. Reversing round a corner? Needlessly being driven round the bend, more like.

Related Articles that might interest you are BMW to release self-drive, driverless car and The UK driving test - is it even producing good drivers?