What is an Extended Retest and How Does it Work?
Road safety is a top priority in the United Kingdom and ensuring that all drivers are safe and competent on the road is essential.
This commitment to road safety is reflected in the process of extended re-tests for drivers who find themselves in Court for more serious driving offences such as dangerous driving and causing death by dangerous driving.
In this article, we will explore what an extended re–test is, why it is necessary and how the process works in the UK.
What is an Extended Re-Test?
An extended re-test, also known as an extended driving test, is a mandatory examination that some drivers in the UK are required to take before they regain the privilege to drive again.
This test is ordered by the Court and imposed upon individuals who have been disqualified as a driver or rider for a particular driving offence such as dangerous driving or causing death by dangerous driving. It serves as a way to ensure that the drivers have rectified serious past mistakes and can once again safely navigate the roads.
Retest after Disqualification
The Sentencing Council provides the Court with guidelines in relation to ordering a defendant to sit an extended retest after a period of disqualification for serious driving offences such as dangerous driving or causing death by dangerous driving.
The decision to order an extended retest is compulsory for certain offences, and the Court must follow this guideline where offences of dangerous driving or causing death by dangerous driving are concerned. Whilst it is more likely that the Courts will order an extended driving test if you are convicted of dangerous driving offences, the Court can also order an extended retest for other offences involving mandatory disqualification.
If the court has ordered you to take an extended test before driving again, you will have to apply for a new provisional licence, take the extended test and pass before you can be allowed on the roads again.
How to Get a New Provisional Licence
The DVLA will usually send an individual a reminder 56 days before the disqualification period comes to an end. This can then be used to apply for a new provisional driving licence.
If for whatever reason a reminder has not been sent, an individual can order an application form instead via the DVLA website.
Once the application documents have been accepted by the DVLA, a provisional driving licence will be sent out to the applicant, this usually takes up to three weeks however it can be longer If certain health or personal details need to be checked.
Why Are Extended Re-Tests Necessary?
Extended re-tests are essential for several reasons:
- Road Safety: The primary objective of an extended re-test is to enhance road safety. By requiring drivers with a history of dangerous driving behaviour to prove their competence, the aim is to reduce the risk of accidents and collisions.
- Rehabilitation: For drivers who have had their licence disqualified from driving due to offences like dangerous driving or causing death by dangerous driving an extended re-test provides an opportunity for rehabilitation. It allows them to demonstrate their commitment to responsible driving.
- Deterrence: The prospect of an extended re-test can act as a deterrent for drivers who may consider engaging in risky behaviour. Knowing they might have to go through a rigorous testing process can discourage potential offenders.
How Does the Extended Re-Test Process Work?
The extended retest is more comprehensive than a standard driving test and is designed to assess whether the individual has addressed the issues that led to their disqualification.
It will involve both practical and theoretical components covering a range of driving skills and knowledge related to road safety and regulations.
Given the extended nature of the test, the extended practical test will last longer than the standard practical driving test and will last for at least 60 minutes. The cost will also be typically more than a standard driving test.
The reasoning behind the longer test is the fact you will be expected to cover all driving manoeuvres such as reverse park (also known as parallel parking), bay park forward and reverse, pull up on the right and reverse back for two car lengths, and a compulsory emergency stop manoeuvre. The standard test in comparison only usually tests on one manoeuvre and has a 1 in 3 chance of including the emergency stop manoeuvre.
The extended driving test is usually more demanding as you will also be required to drive on a wider variety of roads including a dual carriageway during an extended driving test.
The theory test will also feature as part of the extended driving test, however, this process will be the same as the standard learner theory test.
The extended re-test process in the UK involves several key steps:
- Notification: Drivers who are required to take an extended re-test will receive a formal notification from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.
- Apply for a Provisional Licence: Given a driver has been disqualified, a provisional licence must be applied for and obtained before a test can be booked.
- Booking Test: Once a provisional licence has been received, the driver must book the extended re-test through the official DVSA website or by contacting them directly.
- Preparing for the Test: To prepare for the extended re-test, drivers often undertake additional driving lessons with an approved driving instructor. These lessons focus on areas where the driver needs improvement and assist with helping them become more confident and competent on the road.
- The Test: The extended re-test is similar to the standard driving test, but it is often more comprehensive. It includes elements like an extended theory test, an eyesight test, and an on-road driving assessment. The on – road test will last longer and include a wider range of driving scenarios to thoroughly assess the driver’s skills.
- Pass or Fail: If the driver passes the extended re-test, their driving licence is usually reinstated, and they can continue to drive legally. However, if they fail, they may need to retake the test or face a more extended disqualification.
How to Pass an Extended Re-Test
Whilst you may think that before your charge and conviction, you were an adequate and competent driver and simply made a mistake; it is advisable to book lessons with a government–approved driving instructor to help you prepare for the test. Many drivers pick up bad habits during their period of freedom on the road and it is very easy to navigate away from the rules and regulations of the road. Booking driving lessons will assist with a memory refresh as well as ironing out any of those bad habits!
Booking the test during a quiet period on the roads and ensuring you have completed a mock test are also other factors to consider to ensure you are on the right track for when you sit the real extended test.
Essentially, extended re-tests are a vital component of the UK’s commitment to road safety. They serve as a means to rehabilitate drivers with a history of dangerous driving behaviours and to ensure they are fit to return to the road.
By holding drivers accountable and providing opportunities for improvement, extended re-tests contribute to safer roads and responsible driving practices. If you find yourself facing an extended re-test, it is essential to take it seriously, prepare adequately and work towards becoming a safer and more responsible driver.
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