Driving test to include nod to green concerns

The standard driving test is to include a section on techniques to reduce a car's environmental impact - though the candidate's performance won't affect the outcome of the test.

Although a long way from making environmentally-friendly driving a requirement, the proposals unveiled by Department for Transport this week demonstrate an acknowledgement that driving style can have a significant impact on levels of pollution.

New motorists will be advised on how to save fuel and cut their emissions as part of the test, with examiners offering feedback on how green their driving is.

The changes to the test have been timed to coincide with the announcement that the DFT is to pump an extra £3m into a scheme promoting eco-driving techniques.

According to the DFT’s stats, a month’s worth of fuel can be saved every year by following the techniques outlined in its ACT ON CO2 campaign, and motorists could save three months’ worth of fuel each year if they choose a more fuel efficient model when buying a new car.

Transport still account for around a quarter of the UK’s total carbon emissions and is the only sector where the total emissions are expected to be higher than they were in 1990 by the time we reach 2020.

Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: “To help the next generation of motorists drive in a way that is better for their wallets and the environment, the driving test will now assess how successfully they follow fuel efficient and eco-safe driving advice.

“Common-sense changes can make for major improvements. Drivers can save around a month’s worth of fuel each year by taking simple steps, like ensuring their tyres are correctly pumped up, changing gear earlier to keep revs low and avoiding carrying unnecessary clutter in the boot.

“The ACT ON CO2 campaign’s smarter driving tips have already proved highly successful and will help even more motorists to save money.”

Millions of drivers have already benefited from this advice as part of the Government’s successful ACT ON CO2 campaign. This extra £3m will help more drivers conserve fuel, preserve the condition of their vehicles for longer and lessen their impact on the environment.

Sam Bond

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