L-test about to go green?

6 Nov, 2006 (All day)

Learner drivers might be new to the road, but they could soon be given extra marks for being so green.

The Government hopes to introduce eco-friendly skills to the test. Under new proposals, pupils would be scored down for "revving the engine, jumping from brakes to accelerator, changing down gears unnecessarily or failing to switch off the engine in hold-ups," said Driving Standards Agency (DSA) assistant chief examiner Bob Millard.

Robin Cummings of driving school BSM added: "Instructors are already judged on their eco-driving style, so it was only a matter of time before learners got the same treatment."

The revised test would be part of a bigger shake-up of services being considered by the DSA. Also part of the body's latest consultation is a ban on all soft-tops at test centres - widening the current exclusion beyond the MINI Convertible and Ford Streetka.

In addition, the DSA hopes to step up its anti-fraud measures by giving examiners new powers to seize driving licences if they suspect them to be fake. Only the police are currently allowed to do that.

What's more, the theory test could be extended to include new questions on eco-driving and uninsured motorists. This part of the assessment would see a 33 per cent price hike, to £28.50, while criminal history checks for driving instructors are also recommended.
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