The driving test in United Kingdom tests the competence of legal residents as a stepping stone to being legally able to drive. Like the requirements set for drivers in most American states, the driving theory test UK edition also has a minimum age requirement of 16 years to drive a moped and 17 years to drive a car.
History of the Theory Test UK
The requirement of being licensed to drive was not introduced until 1903, with the Motor Car Act that was enacted by the UK Parliament. This act mandated that motor cars be registered, drivers be licensed, and the legal speed limits be increased. There have been several points in history where testing has been suspended for a period due to ongoing crisis in the United Kingdom. During the second World War and again during the infamous Suez crisis a generation later, driver’s licensing in the UK was suspended to help with the war effort. Several modifications have been made to the test over the years, as technology progresses and techniques arise.
Theory Test UK: Today
In 1996, the driving theory test in the UK was introduced as a written examination to test a tester’s potential competency on the road. Before the initiation of this exam, licenses were issued to any citizen of proper age unless the driver had a physical handicap. This exam was later updated at the turn of the century to be taken on a computer.
A Test of Two Tales:
The modern Theory Test UK consists of two separate testing portions that need to be passed before licensure. The first portion is the Theory test, which is made up of both a multiple-choice test on a computer and a hazard perception test, where drivers are tested on their perception of developing road hazards. The tester must pass both portions before they can continue onto the final testing phase.
The second phase of the testing for a UK driver’s license is known as the practical test, which is done behind the wheel of a real automobile with a licensing agent observing in the passenger seat. Drivers are graded on different elements of their performance including mistakes they made or steps they may have forgotten. The drive usually lasts more than half an hour, covering multiple areas of driving skill allowing demonstration of multifaceted skill. This drive ends in either the licensure or failure of the test.