Skip to main content

Driving Tests

Volume 524: debated on Wednesday 3 March 1954

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how many persons took a driving test last year; and how many failed.

642,376 tests were conducted in the 12 months ended 2nd January, 1954, and of these 273,916 resulted in failure.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that driving tests are rapidly becoming not so much tests of safe driving as of ability to answer a small number of standardised questions and to do certain driving tricks? Will the hon. Gentleman now review the tests in order to ensure that preparation for them by the motoring schools is rather less mechanical and automatic than it now is and is more conducive to safe driving.

If the hon. Gentleman can send me any evidence in support of what he says—[HON MEMBERS:" Oh "]—I shall certainly be willing to look into the matter.

Would the hon. Gentleman seriously consider this matter to determine whether the cost of imposing a driving test really results in people who are competent to drive being allowed on the roads and the holding back of people who are not competent to drive? Will he satisfy himself that psychological prerequisites of driving, namely, temperamental tests, are possible, or whether we are spending a lot of money on officials in connection with driving tests that do not produce a good result?

After the introduction of driving tests in 1934 there was a very substantial reduction in the number of road accidents. I have already been asked by my hon. Friend to look at some of the complaints which we have received with regard to driving tests. I repeat the invitation, which I gave in all seriousness to the hon. Gentleman, and to anyone else, to let me have any cases where they feel that driving tests have not been satisfactorily conducted.