Sat Nav first for young L-driver

editorial image

A 17-year-old pupil of a 
Campsie driving school has 
become one of the first 
learner drivers in the UK to pass his test using a Sat Nav.

Grant Ferguson, a pupil of The Popular School of Motoring, threw away his L-plates 
last week.

His success comes after Bishopbriggs Driving Test Centre was chosen as one of 20 in the UK to trial the new practical exam designed to 
reflect “real world” conditions.

Learner drivers will be expected to follow directions on a Sat Nav under a proposed shake up of the driving test.

The trial of the revised 
exam will continue until the end of the year.

It could be the biggest shake up of the test since the written theory exam was 
introduced in 1996.

The proposed changes also include scrapping the three-point turn and reversing round a corner. These will be replaced with more 
commonplace manoeuvres such as reversing out of a 
parking bay.

Around 1000 learner 
drivers will take part in the 
trials, which will involve them following a pre-set Sat Nav 
guided route “as an alternative to road signs”.

They will also be asked safety questions while on the move, instead of at the start, and asked to operate switches such as screen heaters, according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

Driving instructors will only book pupils onto the new test during the trial phase if they wish to take part.

Drew Nicol, who taught Bearsden teenager Grant, said: “My driving school was one of the first to register for the trial.

“I think it’s a good idea and much more realistic.

“Drivers are using Sat Nav more and more now as a means of direction and the new test is designed to reflect this.

“The tester will be looking to see, for example, if the driver is looking too much at the Sat Nav instead of listening to it.

“Grant may well have been the first person in Scotland if not the UK to pass his test following Sat Nav directions.”

Motoring groups, however, have urged caution in removing manoeuvres like a three-point turn, saying it can be essential if Sat Navs lead 
drivers down a dead end road.