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back to article DSA looks at 3D animated driving tests

The Driving Standards Agency is considering the use of three-dimensional animation in the driving theory test's hazard perception section. Since 2002, theory tests – a precursor to a practical driving test – have included 14 videos, during which candidates have to click on a mouse when they see a developing hazard. Higher marks …

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Emo

Already been done

Carmageddon anyone ;)

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I have a better idea...

Instead of fancy animated graphics to improve new drivers' hazard perception, they should be made to take the motorcycle CBT as part of the driving test. Nothing improves a drivers focus on road safety better than havng the metal box taken away from around them and being introduced to the dangers of the road directly.

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Stu

@Ed Blackshaw

If doing the CBT improves your hazard perception, how do you explain the appalling driving by twattish 16 year olds on scooters...?

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Anonymous Coward

@Stu

The appalling driving by twattish 16 year-olds on scooters can be explained in exactly the same way as twattish driving by 17 year-olds in cars.

I leave it up to you to figure it out...

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@stu

they are 16 nuff said

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Paris Hilton

@Stu

I can't agree more. I don't see how a 1 day "don't fall off the bike and you've passed" course makes you a better driver. What we need is a crash simuator to show how much it hurts when you crash after driving like a fucktard in your shitty little nova-clone with a wanker's "sport" exhaust.

Paris, because I bet shes a better ride than a Vauxhall Corsa.

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Stop

@Ed Blackshaw @Stu

I can understand your comments regarding 32Tonne lorry drivers who seem to think that their safety distance is measured in millimeters (so when they do completely crush a family saloon, how much damage does _their_ lorry have?)

However most of the motorbike riders I have experienced on the road seem convinced of their own immortality. They think nothing of overtaking with your 'metal boxes' rushing past on either side of them, overtaking speed of 30+ MPH on their left and closing speed over 100+ mph on their right. Thats when they are not sitting in a cars blind spot (thats the space that you bike riders seem to think is ideal for waiting until you can overtake the peon in the car who's _only_ doing 70mph.)

Personnally, most of the bike riders I knew in my yoof have had serious accidents. Most lossing internal body parts and one the use of everything from the neck down.

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Boffin

Video Quality

I hope the 3D animated version offers better quality video than the test units I had to undergo. It looked like it was being decoded by QuickTime circa 1996 on a sub-200 Mhz box, with plenty of frame lag.

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Anonymous Coward

Excellent idea

If this is a goer, then we have a technology which may allow us to bring in re-tests. Something I think is vital to improving standards. If you knew that every (say) 5 years you had to prove that you were fit to drive, then more people would pay attention to red lights, signals etc. Add to that bin-annual mandatory eye and health checks and I think we could be on to something (yes, lots of people will lose their license; that's the bloody point!)

The motorcycle CBT is a good idea, but a political non-starter as bikes are up to 20 times more dangerous than cars. Add that to the EU anti-bike policies (Vision Zero) and it will just not happen.

But the answer with the BIGGEST impact is also the most simple and least sexy. Tear down the cameras, stop with the rhetoric and simply bring back the traffic police. Labour have deliberately decimated traffic policing (saving lives/preventing accidents does not raise revenue, issuing fines does).

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@stu

I always thought you never needed any tests to pick up a scooter and ride it, you simply need a valid prelim license, which any "twattish 16 year-old" can write off, having paid the princely sum of £34 first! No common-sense plus no license and most have no insurance, you do the math on the road death stats!

I remember taking my CBT in 2003, I practiced on about 50 little Quicktimes from Focus ( one of the last few UK software companies, support them! ), passed my CBT 100%. The funny thing was, all the real films in the test were all shot in my old home town, so I knew most of the dangerous roads and more less what was likely to happen!

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All well and good

But until we start RE-testing current drivers we'll still have dicks who whinge about being caught by a speed camera because they couldn't read the road signs or see a great yellow camera at the side of the road, or morons who tootle along at 60mph in lane 2 or 3 or a four lane motorway and then look at you when you flash them.

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Anonymous Coward

@Ed Blackshaw

Is the motorcycle CBT where they teach how to pass on the left, dodge to the front at traffic lights, overtake traffic turning right and use chevrons as if they were a personal lane?

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Stop

Why?

What exactly is all this unnecessary complication for? Drivers who have already passed their test aren't going to be affected. All it seems to be doing is making it harder for learners at the public's expense.

When I first failed my driving test, the "theory section" consisted of the examiner showing me some flash cards of traffic signs and asking me what they were. Later I did a theory test using pencil and paper.

Eventually I gave up and decided to stick to Shanks's Pony, which appears to have been the best tactic in the light of rising fuel prices and increasing congestion on the roads. One time I accepted a lift home from a colleague, the queue to get onto a particularly busy roundabout was so bad I actually found myself asking if I could get out and walk.

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Driving Tests Go Web2.0 Then?

Maybe they could do this in the style of SecondLife? I can't wait to see the questions....

1 The first video is of you driving along and you pass a female with disproportionate breasts walking a dog. Do you:

Continue to drive and be aware of possible hazards ahead

Stop and shag her?

Shag her dog?

Ignore her, you shagged her 5 minutes ago

2 The next video clip shows you approaching a major junction with traffic lights. Do you:

Approach with caution

Keep going, the place hasn't rezzed yet so you'll be fine

Stop and shag her

3 The third video clip show you proceeding along a single lane carriageway with parked cars on the opposide side. A fire engine approaches with it's emergecy lights lit. Do you:

Stop and shag her

*/*/*DJ RASPUTIN PARTY NIGHT!*\*\* WEAR WHAT YOU DARE AND DANCE! $LINDENS PRIZES FOR BEST COSTUME! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IM: Brian Cockface: can someone tp me? Im stuck in a gay bar.

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Alert

@Ed Blackshaw

I somewhat disagree... I've never met a motorcyclist who isnt a complete idiot on the road especially on country roads. Just the other week I was overtaken by a group of 7 motorcyclists who were racing each other, including overtaking in a traffic calmed 30mph zone, riding without any hands on the handlebars, overtaking on blind bends... etc

Even the TV adverts affirm this, the ad where the motorist is turning at a T junction and motorcycle decides to overtake and gets hit.... THINK look out for motorcyclists, more like how about the motorcyclist doesnt overtake in the first place...

So what is it about the motorcyclist exam that makes them think they should be constantly overtaking everything in sight???

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New Driver Tax / Real Cause

If you speak to any Driving Instructor (at least those not in the DSA pocket) they will tell you that the regular additions to the driving test (increasing the cost to new drivers) have not reduced accidents or casualties in the 'young' and 'new' driver groups.

The most responsible approach would be to limit the size and speed of vehicles available to new drivers to a 1.1 litre vehicle of a maximum unladen weight.

I've seen enough young drivers in 2+ litre cars which are barely under control as they race away from lights or along country lanes.

Unfortunately such a limitation would not net the DSA/government any extra cash and so would not be considered.

Growing up in the pennines with many small villages and country roads and travelling over 30000 miles per year on the motorway networks I've seen many accidents, alot of these have resulted in serious injury or death and the common factors in the worst are generally the age of the driver and the size of engine...

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3D test......like GTA?

So the new test will consist of car-jacking a young mother and shooting her in the head when she complains, driving at breakneck speeds while being chased by the cops and the passing mark can be obtained by handbrake turning into a spray shop so that they can knock out the dents and therefore make you unrecognisable to any passing police?

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@AC: 12.57

EU anti bike policies?

Can you provide a reference for that, or are you just making things up as you go along.

And yes, I did a search for Vision Zero, and there is nothing there which I saw which relates to active policies against motorbikes.

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Anonymous Coward

Cartoon reality

So instead of the real world, we'll have a cartoon reality? If I hit a little girl in this simulator at 30mph, will she die 20% of the time, and if I hit her at 40mph will she die 80% of the time like they claim in the adverts? Because that is not reality, it was an attempt to mislead using statistics.

See Speed Limit vs Road deaths comment here:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/09/ofcom_clarkson_ruling/comments/

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 12:35

> They think nothing of overtaking with your 'metal boxes' rushing past on either side of them,

> overtaking speed of 30+ MPH on their left and closing speed over 100+ mph on their right.

The "threat zone" on a motorcycle is when you're alongside traffic. Getting through the threat zone *quickly* makes the manoeuvre significantly safer.

As for closing speed to oncoming traffic - it's irrelevant. Hit that car, and you're dead, regardless of the speed.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 13:35

> Even the TV adverts affirm this, the ad where the motorist is turning at a T junction and motorcycle

> decides to overtake and gets hit.... THINK look out for motorcyclists, more like how about the

> motorcyclist doesnt overtake in the first place...

Errr - you know that in that ad, the motorcyclist isn't overtaking, right? He's travelling along the main road when the car pulls out in front of him (the eponymous "SMIDSY").

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Paris Hilton

Driving test schmiving test...

It is all just a ridiculous little video game anyway, now isn't it. As somebody who moved to the UK and was able to drive for a whole year on my US driving licence, and then was summarily told i was trying to cheat on the HPT and therefore didn't know how to drive, I think the whole thing is a bit ridiculous. I missed it by one single point. I have only been driving for 16 years. And at least i only missed 2 of 50 on the theory portion. Whoopdydoo! Anyways, you give people the right to drive here without ever having them take a test to prove they even know the rules. The idea that giving the cyclist test is an obvious no-no. Those people don't know how to follow the rules at all. As far as i'm concerned you should disallow them for being completely retarded, or at least having a lack of any scruples.

Paris, because its sad that she can't find a best friend because of all of this!

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Stop

Cars vs bikes

Can I first just point out that 150- 250 kg of motorbike and rider, even when acting irresponsibly, is usually only a danger to themselves, whereas 1,500 kg or so of car and driver just acting *carelessly* by failing to indicate, undertake proper observation or using their mobile phone is a danger to *everyone*, especially those not in a metal box.

As for the videos in the Theory Test, over 25 years of cycling experience meant that when I took the test, I had to *slow down* my click responses because I was identifying a hazard before it was a "developing hazard", I'd already identified a situation as "something to be watched" but the system wouldn't recognise that as a valid response until it was actually *becoming* a danger.

Oh, and the new motorcycle test which was supposed to be introduced last year has been delayed until at least the end of March because there are simply insufficient testing areas available.

http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/News/newsresults/mcn/2008/september/8-14/sep1108-new-test-delayed/?&R=EPI-102831

Oddly enough, there is, at present, no similar car test, even though over two-thirds of the accidents involving vehicles and motorcycles are the fault of the driver (Booth report 1989) ie the classic SMIDSY - Sorry Mate, I Didn't See You...

You, as a driver, are responsible for undertaking proper observation before making a manoeuvre to ensure that it will not jeopardise another road user (Davis vs Schrogin 2006 http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2006/974.html )

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Anonymous Coward

The test is pointless anyway

What's the point in strictly testing people before allowing them to drive, and then allowing people to drive on an overseas licence anyway with no controls.

One of the offshore guys i work with got his licence in India and had to drive forward ten feet, then reverse ten feet, woo a pass. Thinking it was odd, i asked someone else, and they said yes, but when they did it they couldn't manage to reverse, but got it anyway!

The guy i was speaking to said he didn't like driving in the UK much though, as there were all these rules to follow but he had no idea what they were!

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Go

@AC 14:26 GMT and others

There are various actions moving through the EU to restrict/get rid of motorcycles. I suggest you look a bit harder. To quote Claes Tingvall "There is no room for motorcycles in Vision Zero." (and you know who he is and where he said that because you researched it).

As for bikers riding like twats; yes there are some. There is NO EXCUSE for racing on the road or other antics, and I condemn those who do (regardless of vehicle); we have tracks for that kind of thing. But is the twats who you remember (a bit like lycra louts and BMW drivers really) not the courteous/safe rider who just wafts pass and doesn't upset/scare you. Which is, pretty much, how we should all try to drive.

Passing on the left? That can be quite legal (check your Highway Code and one does wonder what you are doing in the wrong lane; GET LEFT!). Filtering? If done safely, that is quite legal. Even over taking on unbroken lines can be legal (check your Highway Code). Strange overtakes on country roads? A biker's head is higher than a car driver's, they can often see further ahead and may do what appears to the driver to be dangerous but isn't (this is why also why riders may swing from the middle of the lane to one edge when approaching a bend - to increase their view and thus increase safety).

As for sitting in the blind spot for any length of time, well that is just stupid (car design doesn't really help either). However, approaching a car and then moving briefly into what might be the blind spot could be preparatory work to an overtake (go forward, have a look-see, prepare to move out for a better look). Of course the rider should back off if they need to abandon the manoeuvre. Although kudos for actually knowing a bike was there. This means you must use your mirrors and perform shoulder checks, making you a very rare breed on Britain's roads!

But this is descending into my defending bikers from a bit of bike-bashing (either through prejudice, ignorance or trolling). There are mad/bad bikers just as there are mad/bad car drivers and I put it to you that the mad/bad biker is a much greater risk to THEMSELVES than the mad/bad driver, who is a greater risk to others. Of course, that in no way excuses dangerous driving.

We could all benefit from more training (bikers, drivers, cyclists etc.) and if you are sat there thinking "Well, I don't need more training.", then you almost certainly do! Which neatly brings us back to re-testing. This system could make mandatory re-testing for all drivers a possibility, and that is something I whole-heartedly endorse.

Could I pass my test (or a re-test) today? Hmm...maybe, not sure if I am honest. I guess I would be better at some things but I am also certain bad habits have crept in (e.g. driving too close in my case).

Could I pass such a re-test after a bit more training? Yes.

Would I be safer after more training? Yes.

Ergo, re-testing compels more training and thus increases safety.

We also need a much tougher test. The Highway Code test is an utter joke. The road test in the car was chronic but the bike test slightly harder (but not by much). Having done both it is no surprise to me that we get such utter numpties in cages or on two wheels.

So, there you have it. A biker (and car driver) requesting tougher testing, re-testing and more training. Wow. What a dangerous hooligan I must be! And I have some startling news for you - I am not alone.

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