The Driving Instructors Association (DIA) welcomes the changes to the driving theory test, which come into force from today (23 January). 

    The Driving Standards Agency has decided that it will no longer use pre-published questions, an initiative that is designed to force candidates to think about applying the rules from the Highway Code and interpret the meanings of road signs, rather than learning the answers to questions by rote.

    Revision questions for candidates are still contained in books and mobile phone applications published by The Stationary Office (TSO), so learner drivers can still test themselves and assess their progress. The books and apps also include exercises and revision support. 

    Steve Garrod, DIA general manager, welcomed the change, saying: “Drivers’ knowledge of the Highway Code has been on the decline since the theory test was first introduced in 1996, with very few people ever opening a copy. Simply memorising answers to the theory test will not help anyone how to stay safe on increasingly busier roads and in more congested traffic conditions. 

    “The change is not so much to the test itself, but to the way new drivers learn the theory. It is essential that all new drivers understand how to apply the theory to their driving, to be able to recognise potentially hazardous situations and act accordingly, if they are to avoid becoming another accident statistic.”