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DRIVING TEST: Maidstone is still a good place to pass

Friday 12th January 2018

LEARNER drivers in the county town have a better than average chance of success of passing their driving test.

According to figures released by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), 76% of those tested at the Armstrong Road examination centre got through in 2017.

Whilst it does compare as favourably to Ashford, where the pass rate was 80%, Maidstone is 5% ahead of Canterbury (71%).

The figures released by the DVSA cover the first half of the year with 1,403 passes from 1,992 drivers.

And although the pass rate is still good, there has been a slide from previous years.

In 2014, it was an impressive 80% success rate and in 2015 it at 78%.

Local driving instructors are unsure if radical new changes – brought in in December 2017 - to the way the traditional test has been conducted will affect the pass rate.

But they have been introduced to reduce the number of young people dying on the roads each year.

Transport minister Andrew Jones said: “Our roads are among the safest in the world. However, road collisions are the biggest killer of young people.

“These changes will help us to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads and equip new drivers with the skill they need to use our roads safely.” 

Under new rules, drivers must spend 20 minutes following sat-nav directions rather than taking instructions from the examiner. The test routes in Maidstone will also go further afield from the test centre than before.