Parking Sensors and Reversing Cameras on Driving Test
There appears to be some confusion among some driving instructors and test candidates in regards to the use of parking sensors and reversing cameras on the driving test. So let’s clear this up right away.
It is a very common question that I am asked by students nearly every time it comes to reversing. They tend to ask “is it not cheating?”.
Let’s face it, some cars can literally park themselves these days!
The simple answer is yes!
Can you use parking sensors on driving test?
Yes absolutely, you can use parking sensors on the driving test and there’s no need to deactivate them. With ever-increasing vehicle numbers on UK roads, parking spaces are fewer and often smaller.
Parking sensors provide drivers with audible signal as to how close they are getting to a vehicle, and the camera will give you a good view of the space behind, the display can even have guidelines to help you find your way into the space. Not all cars have this technology, it varies! Some have reverse sensors only whilst others have sensors installed to the front and rear of the vehicle.
The DVSA takes modern technology into account, and parking sensors and cameras are no exception. You can even use the reversing camera on the driving test if you wish. Though use of this parking aid technology is permissible on the UK driving test, you must be careful not to excessively rely it – else you’ll fail.
HOW CAN YOU FAIL?
You can fail the test by not using effective, all-round observation. When you intend on reversing, always look around before moving off to ensure it’s safe to proceed. Then ensure you look in the direction you intend on going. It might sound obvious, but many tests have been failed due to a test candidate staring at a mirror as they start reversing, instead of looking around and backwards. It is the same in a car packed with technology.
CAN I TURN OFF PARKING AIDS?
Yes, you can turn off the parking sensors and/or the reversing camera if you wish, it’s really up to you. The examiner will not mind either way. There may be a button on your dashboard or an option in the vehicle settings to deactivate. Some people prefer not to use them. But, if it is there and it can help, you would be daft not to use it! After all, that’s what its there for!
SELF PARKING FEATURE
Some of the more modern cars have the technology to enable the car to reverse park itself at the side of the road. (Parallel Park). This feature is not allowed to be used on a driving test and it must be turned off during the driving test, as the examiner will need to see the candidate complete the manoeuvre manually.
WHAT DO I TEACH?
As a driving instructor, I have always taught my students to use the technology that is fitted to the car as a normal part of their automatic driving lessons, so that they can get used to it. But, not to rely on it! They need to be able to do all of the reversing and parking manoeuvres with and without it – as there is a very good chance that a car they buy in the future may not have this technology. I also teach all learners, everytime they do anything in the car, that observations are always critical and to never assume anything without looking first.
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