PASSING your driving test is one of life’s great milestones, bringing with it the freedom of the open road – and the huge responsibility that comes with getting behind the wheel solo.

As technology evolves and driving habits change, the test has to keep up, after all it’s only about 40 years since the need for drivers to demonstrate arm signals was removed.

A written theory examination became part of the test in 1996, and was computerised in 2002. A hazard perception element was introduced in 2002 and a year later, drivers had to answer basic vehicle safety questions for the first time.

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On Monday, the test will change again. Sections in which learners will be asked to demonstrate they can follow instructions from a satnav and answer questions about the vehicle’s operation while driving seem sensible additions given the growing reliance on electronic devices to provide directions, and the need for drivers to have a full grasp of their car’s functions while on the move.

But other changes are proving unpopular. Many examiners object to the new test being longer and say one of the manoeuvres – pulling up on the right-hand side of the road, reversing for two car lengths and then rejoining traffic – is potentially dangerous and should not be encouraged.

Their concerns are so serious that many are expected to take part in a two-day strike starting on Monday, which could lead to 14,000 tests being cancelled.

This situation is clearly unfair to the 14,000 learners who will face a delay, but if those responsible for judging their competence feel so strongly about the new test, it is time the Government got back round the table to listen to what they have to say.