Have you heard of this?

I must admit we thought it was a driving appraisal conducted by a driving instructors at driving assessment centres for those with disabilities. Able bodied drivers can be asked by the DVLA to have an appraisal following a change of health or following a crash. There does not have to be a medical reason for the appraisal.

What we didn’t know was that these appraisals are held at the DSA’s test centres now, the schemes which started earlier this year and are conducted by specially trained examiners (usually Driving Test Area Managers or Sector Managers) who have four marking criteria to follow 1 Competent and Safe 2 Safe and Responsible with Minor Lapses 3 Important Lapses 4 Dangerous, these covering a similar ‘list’ as the ‘L’  test.

The rest of the test follows same as the ‘L’ driving test so eco-safe driving and independent driving all come into it as does a manoeuvre of the examiners choice. Safety and competency rather than method is what is being assessed.

Blind spot checks prior to move off are a key element of a successful appraisal and linked with good use of mirrors, control of the vehicle and a good awareness of other road users should favour a positive result.

George Ritchie 06/08/2012