HomeMotoring UKIndependent driving and riding section Jayne Henry September 8, 2010 Motoring UK, Registration Industry Independent driving will become part of the practical driving test in Great Britain in October 2010. Which tests will include the independent driving or riding section The independent driving or riding section will be included in the following practical driving tests: car motorcycle module two large goods vehicle (LGV) passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) tests approved driving instructor (ADI) driving ability (sometimes called ‘part two’) taxi (also allowed with a taxi dispatch software) Independent driving explained From 4 October 2010 your practical driving test will include a 10 minute section of independent driving. During your test you’ll have to drive independently by either following: a series of directions traffic signs a combination of both To help you understand where you’re going, the examiner may show you a diagram. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way – that can happen to the most experienced drivers. Independent driving is not a test of your orientation and navigation skills. Driving independently means making your own decisions – this includes deciding when it’s safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you’re going. The independent driving route If you ask for a reminder of the directions, the examiner will confirm them to you. If you go off the independent driving route it won’t affect the result of your test unless you commit a driving fault. If you go off the route or take a wrong turning, the examiner will help you to get back on the route and continue with the independent driving. If there are poor or obscured traffic signs, the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign – you won’t need to have a detailed knowledge of the area. You can’t use a sat nav for independent driving as it gives you turn-by-turn prompts. Independent driving tests how you make your own decisions. Special needs The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has procedures to identify special needs and disabilities when tests are booked online or over the phone. The examiner then knows which type of special needs you have so reasonable adjustment can be made. For the independent driving section, this could be by asking you which method you prefer – following traffic signs or a series of directions (a maximum of three), which are supported by a diagram. In some cases this may be shortened to just two directions. Driving examiners are very experienced at dealing with candidates who speak little or no English. For example, sometimes they will write place names so it is clear to you where you’re being asked to drive to. You can have an interpreter along with you on your test if you wish. Your approved driving instructor can act as your interpreter.