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Drivers 'need psychometric tests'

PringlecpPringlecp Posts: 771
edited June 2007 in Campaign
Drivers 'need psychometric tests' from the bbc:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6736587.stm


copy from above page:

Psychological assessments should become part of the UK driving test, a road safety expert has urged.
Robert Gifford, director of a road safety charity, told BBC Radio Five Live the current system failed to root out drivers prone to breaking rules.

He said psychometric tests could help to identify people with the wrong attitude to the road.

The call comes as the Driving Standards Agency carries out a review of how people learn to drive.

The government said it would keep an open mind over what changes might be brought in.

'Risk-takers'

Mr Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), said the current test assessed people's technical ability - their hand, eye and foot co-ordination.

But he said it failed to look at their psychological attitude to the road.

For example, it fails to assess if they see themselves as risk-takers, making them more likely to break the speed limit or jump a red light.

He said a psychometric assessment would help identify such faults and instructors and examiners would then be able to modify the person's behaviour.

"What one would want to do is - in addition to the multiple choice questions that there are in the theory test at the moment - we would give people a series of value judgements," he said.

"These could include, 'At what speed would you anticipate driving down this road?' or 'Have you ever left the traffic lights while they have been on red?'.

"We would ask people the extent to which they agree or disagree with these statements.

"It would be a way of picking up their underlying values rather than just the facts that they have at their disposal, which are a series of multiple choice questions."

Dr Lisa Dorn from Cranfield University has drawn up psychometric tests for drivers.

The tests are currently being used by Arriva buses to assess new drivers, who face a one in two chance of being involved in a collision in their first year.

Hidden checks

In the last four years, while the tests have been in use, the company has reduced fatalities involving its buses by 31%, Dr Dorn said.

"The principle is that when you administer a psychometric assessment what you are doing is trying to highlight the extent to which people believe certain things, how they feel about certain things and how they will generally behave towards, obviously in this case, traffic," she said.

"These could include, 'At what speed would you anticipate driving down this road?' or 'Have you ever left the traffic lights while they have been on red?'.

"We would ask people the extent to which they agree or disagree with these statements.

"It would be a way of picking up their underlying values rather than just the facts that they have at their disposal, which are a series of multiple choice questions."

Dr Lisa Dorn from Cranfield University has drawn up psychometric tests for drivers.

The tests are currently being used by Arriva buses to assess new drivers, who face a one in two chance of being involved in a collision in their first year.

Hidden checks

In the last four years, while the tests have been in use, the company has reduced fatalities involving its buses by 31%, Dr Dorn said.

"The principle is that when you administer a psychometric assessment what you are doing is trying to highlight the extent to which people believe certain things, how they feel about certain things and how they will generally behave towards, obviously in this case, traffic," she said.

Gary Austin, former chief executive of the Driving Standards Agency, runs a driving school which uses psychometric tests to assess students.

He said they were useful in deciding how someone should be taught.

"For instance we may reveal that someone is actually quite an aggressive driver, or aggressive personality, or they find it very difficult to cope when someone perhaps cuts them up," he said.

But the idea of introducing psychometric testing was criticised by other motoring groups.

'Complex matter'

Edmund King, the RAC Foundation's executive director, said: "We accept we have to do more about young drivers who are most at risk on the roads.

"We are not opposed to new ideas but the concept of psychometric testing is not the solution and a bit of a gimmick, we would like to see prior training in education."

____ _______, founder of organisation Safe Speed, said road safety was a "complex matter of individual risk management".

He added: "We could write a million rules, obey them perfectly, and still fail to observe someone stepping into the road ahead."

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: "The Driving Standards Agency is conducting a review of driver testing and training and when ministers have had a chance to look at that the proposals will be put out to consultation."
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Posts

  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    This is something I have suggested for some time.

    The Fleet Driver Risk Index ( http://www.drivermetrics.co.uk/ )is an example where some companies are already applying this theory.

    Personally I think it may be a real way forward with aggressive drivers, along with other symptoms of poor driving attitude such as repeat offenders with speeding, and other risk-taking behaviour.


    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • I heard this on the radio the yesterday and I must admit my initial reaction was suspicion. The government is conducting a review of driving tests so there will be the usual queue of organisations with their hands out hoping to join the funding gravy train. This sounds like it fits that profile.

    I can see how psychometric testing may help train drivers but adding it to the actual driving test sounds like an expensive waste of time. People will learn how to fake it on the day for the headology exam just like they do for any other part of the test.
  • JadedJaded Posts: 6,663
    I think it is an interesting concept. Difficult to implement though.

    I'd suggest they start by testing a sad-sack who is minded to start a "Road Safety Campaign" because he read about a woman who was going to lose her licence after getting 6 points from the same speed camera in 15 minutes. A sad-sack would set up the campaign without being able to explain why a lady with only 6 points would be banned. A sad-sack who couldn't say where the other 6 points the lady had had come from. A sad-sack who suggested that points for speeding could be passed off onto a dead person's licence. A sad-sack who condoned the suggestion that number plates should be altered to avoid detection by cameras.

    They should compare this sad-sack with other Green-Ink letter writers they have on their database.

    This would be a good start to get into the psyche of selfish people who think that they should be able to drive at speeds that they choose, and to hell with anyone else.

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  • road-runnerroad-runner Posts: 8,630
    I bet the guy who pulled out in front of me and then stuck a fist with one finger protruding out of his window at me would still pass a psychometric test in a calm situation with an eaminer beside him.
  • robbiewrobbiew Posts: 68
    Good for Arriva, although a bit scary that 50% of their drivers are involved in an accident in their first year. I can't see it ever being brought in for the driving test as a whole, but if professional drivers, including taxi drivers, had to go through these hoops it might lead to a small minority benefiting from career paths more suited to them.
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