The DIA has joined the National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP), and colleagues across the training industry, in expressing concern over Government proposals to remove the need for an additional test for B+E entitlement. The proposals form part of a wider range of solutions being consulted on to free up more testing capacity, and expedite licence acquisition, for LGV drivers).
A letter, (published to the logistics industry on the 20th of July 2021) highlighting the potential measures were under consideration, has caused much disquiet and frustration amongst members delivering B+E training.
In response, NASP has written to ministers to set out the industry’s concerns about the impact such changes could have on safety and standards, as well the financial impact on trainers engaged in B+E delivery.
Baroness Vere has now responded to our letter, and you can read the ministerial response in the link below.
You can read the full correspondence between NASP and the Government here
4 thoughts on “NASP raises concerns over B+E testing plans”
Having read NASP letter and Baroness Vere reply, the DVSA have as normal already decided what they are going to do, the consultation is just a sham, lives will be put at risk but as long as they are seen to be doing the right thing then that’s ok.
The letter that NASP missed many facts out regarding pass rates and safety, are the DVSA going to instruct their examiners to start passing more candidates even though they do not meet the standards to pass the test.
The B+E “test” needs overhauled! There are many key skills required to be able to tow safely, however I don’t think adequate training is given in many cases. For example check out the B+E trainer adverts, most focus on trying to get the candidate through the test as quickly as possible. Load security, stability, nose weight etc are all key skills, but on a 2 day course most of the time will be spent learning how to reverse. It would be safer to have authorised experienced trainers conduct a skills based competency course which would be certificated on successful completion. Sadly you don’t even have to be experienced, or a qualified trainer to deliver B+E at this time.
Before 1997, there was no separate test for B+E. Indeed, the test covered a driver all the way up to 7.5 tonnes, which is a truck. I am no lover of the EU, but it forced us to be much more sensible with our licensing, including introducing the +E test.
Of course, being the EU, we ended up with a complete mess of legislation which really needs to be tidied up. Suffice to say that a B driver can tow a small horse trailer behind a heavy towing vehicle without the +E test, but needs the test if there is a horse on board. Very simply, one can either tow the trailer competently or not. Equally, anybody can tow a laden trailer if the unladen tug weighs more than the laden trailer and the whole lot tips the scales at less than 3.5 tonnes.
Somehow, knowledge of nose weights, loading, weight distribution and so much more is officially viewed as magically just being there. Where trailers are concerned, you can indeed be a little bit pregnant.
There should be no +E entitlement without proper training given by a properly qualified ADI. Currently, anybody can teach trailer training. The official view is that the person can already drive so does not need a qualified instructor to teach them. Well, the same applies to learning to drive, the sole difference being that money cannot change hands.
This therefore makes the whole ADI structure look like a bit of a racket in so many different ways. Like so much of what the DVSA does, it is often of a very low quality and incomplete, as well as being totally contrary to common sense.
We are long overdue a total overhaul of driver training, and indeed instructor training. At the very least, a proper training log book must be shown on test day with 4 official drives signed off by an ADI – national speed limit single and dual carriageway, urban and night. Ideally, these drives ought to be conducted under real test conditions by an appropriately trained ADI and the results entered onto the DVSA test site just like the theory test, without which a practical test cannot be booked. The result would be a much higher pass rate and thus ease the strain on DVSA.
As for the theory test, it is not fit for purpose. While a very good idea, students simply do test after test until they end up with a word association means of passing. They do not understand neither the question nor answer, but hey, who cares? The computer says pass. Happy days.
Great swathes of theory are simply not addressed while stupid questions about the catalytic converter are asked, which is not a driver maintenance item. Meanwhile, the warning lights are ignored, insurance is a three word answer and the list just goes on.
The theory test should be a proper college evening course with regular tests culminating in a proper exam. Those whose English cannot cope will not pass while those who cannot read will also not pass, as will those who are too thick or idle to grasp the subject matter.
The level needs to be raised rather than lowered. Our standard of driving is not good. We pride ourselves on our road death record as being in the top three. So why are our serious injury numbers not also up there, rather than halfway down the EU list? The answer is the excellence of our emergency ambulance service. If we swapped ours with that of the French, our fatalities would soar to at least twice the current level, if not more.
Absolutely diabolical idea to remove this requirement of training and testing.
What on earth is going to happen with all the people that can only just manage to drive a car let alone reverse a trailer as well-god help us !!!!
Why don’t we all sanction no training for anyone and give out Class 1 licences to anyone that wants to drive a lorry 🤨