Plymouth Blog blog

Better L-driver pass rates in West Country

Drivers taking their test in the Westcountry have a better chance of passing their test than those in the rest of the UK.

Driving Standards Agency (DSA) figures for 2011 show that more than half of all practical driving tests taken at examination centres in Devon and Cornwall were passed.

Out of 33,000 practical car tests almost 52% of candidates passed. The national average is 47%.

The highest pass rate is in Newton Abbot where 59% of driver pass their test; in Plymouth only 44% pass.

The new research found that the most common cause of failure was observation at junctions which accounted for 3,391 serious faults and 627 dangerous faults.

Male drivers were most likely to fail because of speeding while female drivers were more likely to fail for parking problems.

Larry Girling, Chairman of the South West branch of the Association of Professional Driving Instructors described the findings as interesting and said: “What is more concerning is the statistics of new drivers involved in crashes.

“Learners must be taught to drive for life, not just to pass the test. Young people need to choose a reputable driving instructor.”

Christine Powlesland, of Christine’s School of Motoring believes that the better results in the Westcountry could be down to a “better class of instructor”.

She said: “The test is becoming much harder to pass, which should ultimately lead to safer drivers on the roads.”

Martin Heron, of Martin’s Driving School in Plymouth, doesn’t believe that it is harder to pass your driving test in the city. He said: “Success is down to the training and the performance of the pupil on the test day.”

A DSA spokesperson said: “It’s essential that all drivers demonstrate they have the right skills, knowledge and attitude to drive safely. Examiners are trained to assess all driving tests in strict accordance with DSA guidelines and tests are assessed consistently across the country. However, pass rates are influenced by various factors and there will inevitably be some variation from one test centre to another.”

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