Driving tests will not go ahead in the US state of Georgia after concerns physical exams would not be able to adhere to social distancing guidelines. However instead of making youngsters wait until the lockdown eases, parents will now be able to sign a document saying their driver is competent to drive.
Students will need to fulfil a minimum of 40 hours of supervised driving but will no longer need to sit a formal test under the new policy which will last until the middle of May.
The changes will put parents in the state completely in charge of their children’s ability to drive in what could be a major risk.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the executive order which could yet be extended into June if it is not considered safe enough to restart driving tests.
There has been mixed reactions to the news with some concerned parents may be quick to issue licences before their children are ready.
READ MORE: Driving tests will be cancelled temporarily
A study by the group found that delaying the age drivers receive a permit reduces fatal accidents with increased practice hours reducing insurance costs.
British firm RED Driving School has called the policy “extremely unsafe” which could cause a “surge” in inexperienced drivers on the road.
RED Driving School claims allowing parents to decide would be a “dangerous” move with motorists not granted a licence on parental; assessment under any circumstances.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Ian McIntosh, CEO of RED Driving School said: “The standard of driver training in the UK is dramatically different to that in the USA and it is far harder to acquire a driving licence here.
“To underline that point, the number of road accident deaths per 100,000 people in the USA is approximately four times higher than in the UK.
He added: “Allowing parents to decide if their teenagers are ready to be behind the wheel is incredibly dangerous, and likely to cause a surge in inexperienced, unqualified drivers on the road.
“Georgia’s proposition is extremely unsafe – individuals should not be granted a full licence based on a parental assessment under any circumstances.”
Mr McIntosh reassured drivers that no licence issued in the USA is valid on UK roads except for temporary visitors.
RED confirms they often retrain UK citizens as they prepare for their UK test to get them up to scratch with the level needed to pass.
The DVSA suspended all driving tests in the UK for three months from 21 March 2020 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Car, motorcycle, lorry and driving instructor tests have been suspended in the UK with the DVSA contacting affected drivers to rebook assessments.
However, driving tests will continue to be made available for key workers such as NHS staff to keep the nation moving under lockdown.
Ian Mcintosh added: “The practical test is a critical part of any learner drivers’ experience, and an important step towards making sure they’re safe to be on the road.”
Published at Fri, 01 May 2020 10:47:00 +0000