Theory Test Wins Top Road Safety Award

The hazard perception section of the driving theory test has been recognised with a national road safety award for its role in reducing the number of accidents and potentially saving hundreds of lives every year.

The Prince Michael International Road Safety Award highlights that the introduction of the hazard perception test in 2002 could account for an 11 percent reduction in accidents, helping to improve road safety and reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads.

The hazard perception element of the test uses video clips to test candidates’ reactions to developing hazards on the road. The original filmed clips are soon to be replaced with highly realistic animated clips, incorporating a wider range of hazards in more realistic scenarios.

DVSA Chief Executive, Alastair Peoples, said:

“I am extremely pleased that the hazard perception test and its contribution to road safety have been recognised in this way. The theory test plays a vital role in making sure that new drivers know the Highway Code and the rules of the road, helping them to drive safely and responsibly and making our roads safer.”

Director of the Prince Michael Road Safety Awards scheme, Adrian Walsh, said:

“Although this element of the test is now considered by most candidates as nothing special, its effect in reducing casualties has been significant. Analysis shows that a statistically significant reduction of 11.3% in accidents on public roads can be attributed to hazard perception testing. An award to the team behind this outstanding innovation is long overdue.”

The judges said that the hazard perception test was an outstanding innovation, which had made a considerable improvement to road safety and was well overdue for recognition.

In June this year the Hazard perception section of the driving theory test also received the John Smart Road Safety award at the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) Awards 2014. The judges praised the research leading up to the introduction of the hazard perception test, and highlighted that the test potentially saves £89.5 million a year through reducing the number of collisions.

Every year around 1.5m hazard perception tests are taken as part of the theory test, with an average pass rate of 85 percent for the hazard perception section.