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Driving test changes put in place

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People taking their driving tests will now have to follow a route "independently" without step-by-step instructions from their examiner.

The change to the practical test will see learner drivers following a route, which they will be shown in advance, without direction for around 10 minutes.

Candidates will, however, be able to ask for reminders of their route and they will not be given an automatic fail for going off route.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) implemented the changes in an attempt to produce safer drivers, which will come as good news to new motorists looking for cheap car insurance.

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: "The independent driving assessment gives test candidates the chance to show they have the necessary skills to cope with the sort of traffic conditions they will face every day."

DSA's chief driving examiner, Trevor Wedge, said: "The test is being improved to help produce safer drivers, but that doesn't mean it's getting any harder. We know many instructors are already teaching independent driving."

© Press Association 2010