UK driving test reaches 80

UK driving test reaches 80

The driving test is this year celebrating its 80th birthday in the UK – a milestone that has been welcomed by road safety and vehicle recovery specialist GEM Motoring Assist.

First introduced on June 1st 1935, the UK driving test has seen its fair share of changes over the years, but has always remained a benchmark for driving competence and an important rite of passage.

GEM chief executive David Williams stated many of us will recall the feelings of dread, apprehension and worry that coincide with taking our driving test, but motorists up and down the country will also recognise the pride and sense of achievement that comes with passing.

"The driving test has had a positive and significant impact on road safety from its very first days. A year after it was made compulsory in 1935, road deaths in the UK fell by 1,000," Mr Williams commented.

Figures published by GEM highlight some of the quirkier stats to have emerged as part of the driving test programme over the last eight decades, including the fact that a 26-year-old woman from Southwark, London holds the record for the most failed theory tests (90 in all).

Meanwhile, the largest number of failed road tests stands at 36 – you'd think that after so many failures the unlucky candidate might have realised driving was not their particular cup of tea!

One driver who didn't give up though was rock legend Ozzy Osbourne, who took 19 attempts to pass his test.

Looking ahead, Mr Williams concluded: "The challenge for the future is to ensure the test evolves to take account of the risks and hazards in the vehicles and on the roads of the future, so that new generations of drivers can demonstrate the same high standards that have been required up to now."

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