A Driving Instructor's Blog

DVSA logoAn email alert from DVSA, which you can read in full here. In a nutshell, there will be no extension to theory test certificates which expired during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government has considered the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the validity period of theory test certificates.

After careful consideration, the government has decided not to extend theory test certificates due to the impact on road safety.

A note for the hard of thinking out there. See the words “the government has considered” and “the government has decided”. Can you see the really, really important detail in there?

The GOVERNMENT. Not DVSA.

I’m already seeing instructors blaming DVSA or criticising them for it. It is not DVSA’s decision. In order to extend certificates, there would need to be a change in the Law – look, there’s another important detail – and that is also down to the government.

I realise it’s probably too much to hope for, but hopefully now people will just get on doing the job they’re supposed to do – teaching people to drive. However, I am now waiting for the inevitable lobby groups springing up consisting of people who, 50 years ago, would have been union leaders.

But people paid for a two-year certificate

Look. This is about safety on the roads. The idea of a two year window is so that the information people acquire when they study for their theory tests is at least partially current when they’re let loose on the roads. You know as well as I do that there are those who forget everything two seconds after they walk out of the theory test centre because all they ever wanted was to get the certificate. Some retain the information, though.

The problem is that the first type become – or cause – statistics. The second type, less so. Therefore, it makes sense that this second group does not morph into the first, and that is the basis of the decision the government (not DVSA) has made. Just remember that the lockdown is likely to have a longer term effect on road safety even as it is – there are already reports saying accidents have increased – so stop potentially making it worse by trying to behave like a Samaritan on this subject.

Do YOU agree with it?

If the government had given an extension, I would have accepted it. They haven’t, and I accept that. My job is to teach people to drive, not to argue with every single aspect of this job and the legislation which surrounds it.

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