Why you shouldn't sit your driver licence in Auckland

Busy cities like Auckland are not ideal places to sit your driver licence. 

New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) data shows that pass rates in Auckland are around 53 percent compared to smaller towns like Blenheim which has an 81 percent pass rate. 

The AA Driving School's technical instructor Mark Revill-Johnson says failing tests often comes down to errors around decision-making, which makes Auckland a particularly difficult place. 

"In the big cities there are lots more pieces of information to gather than in a less-busy traffic environment," he told RadioLIVE. 

The NZTA data, which covers the period January 2015 to September 2018, shows that pass rates in Auckland, were lower than the national average, with three sites where you're more likely to fail: Manukau, Westgate and New Lynn. 

Meanwhile, Blenheim had the highest pass rate for drivers across the country, along with Nelson and Hawera, which speaks to lower traffic volume and fewer distractions compared to Auckland. 

"You're still going to have to make valued judgments no matter where you drive," Mr Revill-Johnson said, further noting that pass rates will always vary depending on the driver. 

"The driving test regime was last changed in 2012, so it's still fairly recent and very relevant to the current driving environment."

He noted that the main characteristic of current driving tests is drivers being marked based on risk. For instance, if you do something slightly risky during your test, you'll get a minor fault recorded on your test sheet. 

If you do something that's considered more risky that could get you and other drivers into trouble fairly soon, then that becomes a critical error. And if you do something that's dangerous, then you fail. 

Mr Revill-Johnson said were full licence drivers to sit the current test today, many of them might fail as it has changed over time to prepare modern drivers for the road. 

He said most drivers fail their test based on decisions made at intersections where there is a lot of pressure on drivers not to misjudge. 


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