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The UK driving test recently celebrated its 80th birthday so we thought it would be a good time to look at how some other countries around the world test learner drivers.
Graduated Driver Licensing – Australia was the first country to introduce graduated driver licensing in 1966. The aim behind this system is to give new drivers a gradual learning experience whilst minimising their risk of danger.
Australian drivers begin by acquiring a learner’s permit then progress to a probationary period where they must drive with ‘P-plates’ on their car. They must also keep a record of how many hours they spend with their driving instructor as they must attain a minimum number of hour’s tuition.
Other countries such as South Africa, Hong Kong and certain states in the USA have adopted similar systems and UK Road Safety charity Brake are campaigning for the UK Government to introduce graduated driver licensing. You can read more about Brake’s ‘Too Young to Die’ campaign here.
It’s Strict in Japan – the Japanese driving test has a pass rate below 35% and there are some very strict parts to it. Drivers must remain under 30kmph at all times throughout their test and if they accidentally drive over a curb or if they ‘do not stay left enough in the left-hand lane’ then they have instantly failed.
There is even a requirement for Japanese drivers to be able to bend down low enough to check for any cats that might be concealed under their car!
Two-phase Licensing System - young drivers in Austria, Finland and Luxembourg are required to undertake a second phase of training within the first 12 months following their test.
After completing the first phase, drivers in these countries are given a provisional licence and it’s only after passing the second phase of training that candidates can become fully licenced drivers.
Driving through Cones – in Pakistan, drivers must first pass an eyesight test where they are asked to read a number plate from a distance of 20 metres. Following this, driving test candidates have to drive through a series of cones laid out on a short track, then reverse back through the cones. This is the only requirement of the practical driving test which has a pass rate of 80%.
Pakistan has some of the most congested roads on earth and each year on average of 4,500 people are killed in road traffic accidents throughout the country.
No Driving Test in Mexico – in 14 of Mexico’s 32 states there is no driving test at all. That’s right, no test whatsoever. Drivers in these states, which includes the capital Mexico City, can buy a licence from a Public Ministry office for a price that’s currently equivalent to around £30.
Six out of ten fatal road traffic accidents in the world happen in just twelve countries. One of these countries is Mexico.
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