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RED Driving School celebrate 80th anniversary of the driving test with Channel 5 News

On the 1st of June 1935, the compulsory driving test was introduced to keep people safe on the road. 80 years later, the dreaded driving test is still mandatory in order to officially become a licensed driver. However a Driving Theory Test and a Hazard Perception test have since been added, in becoming a safe and qualified driver.

For so many learner drivers passing their driving test is a milestone, paving their way into adulthood and giving them a degree of freedom. For others, trying to pass the driving test is a constant struggle as the driving test pass rate in the UK is less than 50%.

Dave Dunsford, who has been a driving instructor with RED Driving School for over 10 years met with Channel 5 News presenter Leyla Hayes on the 80th anniversary of the driving test. Dave discussed with Leyla one of his worst experiences as a driver instructor, remembering one particular student: “I taught a young lady once, and we were up to about 80 hours of training. Roundabouts were our biggest problem but it wasn’t until I was actually watching and I realised that she was closing her eyes!

RED Dave Dunsford

However, just because you’ve passed you test doesn’t mean you are a good driver, so Dave put Leyla to the test. Driving under Dave’s supervision, Leyla was told off by Dave for executing the “crossing hand technique” when steering right into a narrow road. Additionally, Leyla was asked to “take it slow and use less gas” as she sped her way down the road.  On finishing the lesson, Dave asked Leyla if she had been driving long, in which she blushed and giggled choosing not to answer the question.

Although Leyla showed she is a good driver, she also demonstrated how easy it is to slip into bad habits. According to DVSA, since 1935 more than 46 million tests have been taken. During this time, we’ve seen it become more difficult to achieve a driver’s license and also witnessed major changes in the driving test. Who knows what the driving test will look like in another 80 years!

As a special way of commemorating the 80th anniversary of the driving test, The Department for Transport prepared a new 2015 edition of The Highway Code, updated with the current legislative changes for those new learner drivers to gain the right knowledge of the mandatory rules for all roads users.

Visit our You Tube Channel to watch Dave put Leah to the test!