During a driving test, braking suddenly for no reason, revving the engine and even wasting fuel by pushing down on the accelerator pedal may well prove to be a costly error. This is because of EU bureaucrats who want to include “eco-driving” officially in the practical side of the driving test. The plans if successful would consign the “boy racer” driver to history and were unveiled this week by Siim Kallas, who is the European Unions Transport Commissioner and who hopes the plans will form part of an improved road safety strategy over the next 10 years. In Great Britain “eco-driving” has been part of the written test since September 2008. Making it an official part of the practical side of the examination would mean all learner drivers would have to be “clean” drivers as well as safe ones. It could even eventually lead to a cheaper motor insurance quote if everyone is classed as a safe driver.
Claire Armstrong of the motoring group Safe Speed said “This is absolutely ridiculous How is driving in an environmentally unfriendly manner posing a danger to other road users. In any case people want to drive in an economical manner, because keeping a car on the road is so expensive.”
Andrew Howard head of road safety at the AA also has some misgivings saying “My concern that somebody could be marked down twice for the same piece of bad driving such as accelerating too fast. I suppose there would be one benefit, the young say they are short of money and this would encourage them to save fuel.”
However the Campaign for Better Transport, gave the initiative the thumbs up. They say it is both common sense and a practical way to go. And if a driver is trained this way from lesson one they will save money in the long term and help save the planet as well. Eco driving is just one of a number of ideas aimed at improving the driving skills of the next generation of drivers.