Eco-awareness Now Part Of Driving Test
by Alan Harten
September 10, 2008
Nearly all UK drivers passed their tests without a thought to the impact that their driving habits may have on the environment, and for most of us, who cared?
When I passed my test, petrol was 70p a gallon, the roads were only half full and greenhouse gas was something to do with growing tomatoes in a hothouse.
Like everything else times have changed and we are now well aware of the impact of vehicles on our environment.
However, practically none of us has much clue on how to reduce the impact of our vehicles on the environment through better driving practices.
The Driving Standards Agency has now seen fit to rectify that situation in its capacity as controller of driving tests.
They will now require some eco-awareness from new drivers wishing to join the masses on the nation’s roads.
For the first time those taking their tests will be viewed not only on driving competency but also the eco-friendly nature of their driving abilities.
Rapid acceleration and braking will lead to a tick in the failed box on the examiners sheet and a leaflet advising best eco-driving practices.
Not only actual driving skills will be under the scrutiny of the UK’s 2000 examiners, they may also enquire about a driver’s knowledge of the need for regular maintenance and tyre pressure checks and a lack of un-needed additional luggage to ensure fuel efficient driving.
This all seems like a good idea, and in the very long term it will lead to many drivers being more eco-friendly.
But it also seems like a too little too late, as it will be 30 years before most UK drivers are in an age bracket where they are old enough to have passed the new test, and maybe 50 years before all drivers will have eco-driving knowledge, and by that time it is highly unlikely that there will be any internal combustion engine vehicles on the road.
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