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New Driving Test ?

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Seems the use of Sat- Nav is to be proposed in a new revision of the Driving Test; but is the use of a Sat-Nav essential to an assessment of driving ability?

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Probably like you Obs ,i was brought up on a diet of road maps & A to Zs & one of the first bits of advice i got when i started driving professionally was " you won't get lost for long with a tongue in your head",& that was very true when most roads took you through built up areas with proper pedestrians., postmen & GPO telephone repair men.I think nowadays that satnavs are very useful  considering road users are normally now sent round towns & cities on by passes & ring roads probably with no chance of asking a local.Most people have a good idea where they are going anyway but a satnav is probably most useful in the last 15 minutes of a journey to find your actual destination.Used properly they are a great idea as long as drivers don't focus on them too much & get distracted from the road ahead.I fail to see though how they can be any less of a distraction than the use of a cb mic which can also be argued to be a useful aid in traffic.

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of course it is essential, anybody who can concentrate on driving with some monotonous voice droning in the ear saying turn around and drive back five miles to get onto the motorway, even though you are five yards from your destination, deserves a license.

 

as davy says handy for the last couple of miles but useless for the preceding thirty or so.

 

will stick to google maps and plan most of my unkown routes that way. print out the last few instructions and map for same. also the bonus of using street view to get an idea of what shop/pub/petrol station to look out for.

 

mind you given the technology that comes with some cars today it beggers me how people ccan be so bad a driving. rear view and even all round cameras and they still can't park within the white lines. reversing sensor that give audible warning but they still manage to reverse into a post. automatic parrallell (?) parking so you do not even have to know how to do that these days.

 

about the only thing that cars don't do is tell jokes and wash the dishes (yet!)

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We went to a wedding near Pitlochry a few weeks back & at the services near Glasgow  i decided to set the satnav up to take me straight to my destination. I set off the way i knew up to Perth with a pretty good idea where i was going till the satnav told me to follow a particular route which i thought must be the best way to the hotel in Kenmore....two hours of very pleasasnt,scenic driving later we arrived & as i found out coming home we were only half an hour from the A9 at Dunkeld & must have saved nearly an hour travel time with using the main road to come back on.

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Believe it or not, some folk drive and survive without these gadgets; so why include them in a test?  Perhaps it would be better to drill new drivers into the habit of observing and obeying signage, like keep clear and hatched junctions; then perhaps we'd have less traffic jams !

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Sounds like a good idea to me. 

Most newer drivers I know (youngsters) with less experience on the roads seem to think that Sat Navs are the be all and end all of getting from A to unknown B only to find on route that they aren't always as good as they think.  Many use stand alone sat navs or ones supplied on their smart phones.  Not sure how much detail the mobile phones ones show but our stand alone Tom Tome satnav show speed limits which are wrong (not good to trust) and has often sent us the wrong way including trying to direct us the wrong way up one way streets etc. 

Worse still was when we were going round a rather confusing island and it told us to 'TURN LEFT NOW' which Mr Dizzy actually did until I screamed at him. It was actually sending us to send UP a slip road to join a motorway (Yes UP as the slip road was an exit one NOT one to join it).  Thankfully there was nothing coming the other way and as we realised straight away we were able to reverse back down.  Bloody scarey though !!

So yes maybe making learners prove they can manage to use a sat nav while keeping their wits about them and eyes on the roads and other signs too is a good idea,

PS whenever I use ours it always tells me to TURN AROUND as I get lost either way :oops::lol:

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Sat Navs are good if it is linked to the system that can get you around traffic jams etc. The one in my car however is a little too sensitive if I set it on that mode as it can send you on a big diversion to avoid a 10 minute delay if the other route is deemed as being only slightly quicker. It does have "fastest", "Shortest" and "dynamic" modes though so I usually check the time/distance with all 3 before I start because the shortest route can sometimes be 20 or 30 miles less but take 10 minutes longer because the quickest or dynamic modes prioritise motorways as the preferred route

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Re the other changes to the driving test it seems rather stupid to have removed the need to show you can safely reverse around a corner without mounting the kerb or taking it too wide.  Also surely having to show you can safely perform a 3 point turn is important too for when your sat nav takes you the completely wrong way.   I guess instructors will still teach them though.

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There's an argument in the taxi trade that says why bother spending two years in London doing the knowledge as virtually every driver down that way is almost 100% reliant on the technology. 

 

Another point about only using it for the last mile or so, that's all well and good but I suspect the increasing use of these devices has lead to a decline in the routine maintenance of our road signs. It's almost the case if you can't be bothered to use your satnav, why expect us to provide direction signs for you. :mrgreen:

 

Bill :) 

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You've just reminded me our trip back from Warrington Hospital in a taxi in the silly hours of the morning earlier this year Bill.  We received a phone call late at night asking us if we could go to try and calm down
Mrs X who,shall we just say, had had some sort of strange reaction to her meds or whatever it was that caused it.

As we had both had a couple of drinks neither if us could drive so we got dropped off.  Many hours later Mrs X had calmed down so we needed to get home.  We asked the hospital reception in A&E if they knew a taxi number and they very kindly phone one for us who arrived within a few minutes.  Very impressed !

So in we got , gave our address and off he set on the few mile journey to our house. 

I noticed he had a sat nav on his dash and trying to keep awake I was watching the line as it was taking us home.  He also had what looked like a mobile phone in another cradle on his dashboard which again was showing the route so I was watching that too.

We got through Bridge Foot and just as we neared Brian Bevan island he asked US which way to go.  I lifted my hand to point to his two 'sat navs' and Mr Dizzy must have been one step ahead of me, grabbed my arm pulling it down, kicked me in the leg and said 'turn here mate and follow the road down and I'll say when to turn again'.

The driver was very nice though....... but maybe needed to brush up on his sat nav skills or local roads as ours is quite a main one which made it all the more amusing  :lol: 

 

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Diz 

 

What looked like a mobile phone was indeed a mobile but running the drivers taxi app.

These devices do have have a built in sat nav to guide the driver but if he had a second sat nav using a different operating system, then they may have been suggesting slightly differing routes which can cause confusion.

Also the drivers are suppose to take the shortest route which is not always the way the sat nav suggests.

 

 

Bill :)

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Thanks for that Bill as I did think it was slightly odd at the time having two but him still not knowing where to go :lol:  I guess we do all know the easiest and quickest routes to our own homes so can't really expect a local taxi driver to know every route to everywhere locally :D

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I've always thought sat navs are more distracting as people take their eyes of the road to look at the map and direction lines even though they 'speak'.  I suppose at least the stand alone ones can be stuck to your windscreen so your eyes are still sort of looking at the road, although not really looking, but a lot of newer cars have them inbuilt lower down in the dash now so surely you'd be glancing down all the time.

I just ignore my mobile when I'm driving, saying that nobody ever rings or texts me anway :lol:

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I thought the driving test, was about testing the ability of people to actually drive a vehicle safely, whilst knowing and observing the basic rules of the road. This would include imo, the ability to do a three point turn, standing start up a hill and an ability to park the vehicle. A Sat-Nav is a navigational aid and has nothing to do with actual driving skill, so which clown has suggested it be included in the test?

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but cars park themselves these days, not to mention brake as well.

 

got me wondering now if the brake lights go on when the car itself decides to brake. must do musn't they?

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but cars park themselves these days, not to mention brake as well.

 

got me wondering now if the brake lights go on when the car itself decides to brake. must do musn't they?

 

I have the radar cruise control system on my Merc Sid and yes, the brake lights do come on when the car activates the brakes :)

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I am surprised that in this day & age cars are not fitted with little wheels at right angles to the car that drop down for parking so motorists can get into even tighter spaces. I am sure members of the Reginald Molehusband club would still have problems though.

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In Belgium some learners drivers were told they had to pass a 'mobile phone' test to get their driving licence....



 

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Got me thinking though, anyone seen using a mobile phone at the wheel should be taken to some waste ground somewhere with various obstacles such as scrap cars, crash dummy pedestrians, the odd lamp post, trees and walls etc etc and made to drive round the whole course in their OWN car while texting !   For every one they hit they get a point on their licence (and a dented car).  You may be thinking well what about the ones who don't hit anything..... well how about all their cars get crushed at the end regardless :wink:

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I remember failing my first driving test. There were a couple of minors.

The examiner said that I was right slowing down by the school, but wolf whistling was a definite no-no.

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