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How and Why Driving Test has Changed
[381호] 2017년 02월 10일 (금) Reporter Lee Sang-hui sanghui@
   
   
To get driver’s license, people have to pass the driving test which consists of theory test, functional test, and road test. Theory test is about traffic law, traffic safety mark, road surface marking, etc. In functional test driver has to drive the car along the driver’s license test course. Purpose of functional test is to teach the bare minimum amount of driving ability and enable basic driving. In road test, driver has to drive in the real road with other ordinary cars. There were some critics about low level of difficulty of the driving test, so it was decided to increase the difficulty on Dec. 22, 2016.
Driving test has changed in many ways. Firstly, number of theory test questions are increased from 730 to 1,000. Questions related to safe driving, for example, banning retaliatory driving, strengthening defensive driving and driver’s awareness have been added. Secondly, in functional test, distance of the driver’s license test course has increased from 50 meters to 300 meters. Number of evaluation items have also increased from two to seven. T-shaped course (reverse parking) and slope course are known as the most difficult parts among added evaluation items. Finally in road test, amount of evaluation items have decreased from 87 to 57. However, since disqualification items are increased and score of each evaluation items are increased, it is not easier to pass the test.
Driver's License Section of National Police Agency announced that some opinions about “low level of difficulty of driving test could cause the increase of traffic accident rate” led to the change of driving test. Korean Society of Transportation and KOROAD had identified the problem of the driving test. After that, Driver’s License Section of National Police Agency conducted practical testing and public hearing about new driving test. The five items Driver’s License Section of National Police Agency decided to add in functional test are chosen among those most frequently occurred and used during driving situation. In addition, they removed some evaluation items in road test since car performance has improved. For example, the evaluation of stepping on brake for several times became unnecessary because of Anti-Lock Brake System.
Some Postechians took driving test remarked on it. Choi Seo-hyun (ME 16) who passed the previous version of functional test said, “Both theory and functional test were not that hard. I just looked over question pool before theory test. It was similar in functional test, I watched YouTube video provided by KOROAD and just imagined it again in my head before I took the test.” Kwon Hyeok-kyu(MATH 16) recently passed the driving test. He said, “I was so worried because the media reported the driving test has become too difficult. In my opinion, however, previous functional test was easy and the level of difficulty is okay now. Also, I did not have big difficulties during road test. I prepared driving test in an academy, and it took about 500,000KRW.”
The police is expecting that the strengthened driving test will improve driving ability of inexperienced drivers and contribute to the reduction of traffic accidents.
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