9-month training for learner-driver wishing to take the test

The Flemish government has unveiled the changes to the new driving lessons. The new system becomes operational on 1 October. In future learner drivers will have to train their skills for nine months instead of three before they can take the new driving test.
McPHOTO / INSADCO / Midori

Under the new test drivers will have to show that they can complete more manoeuvres and operate a GPS. The news about the revamped and more demanding test triggered a stampede to driving schools as the system of driving lessons is only being changed on 1 October.

Research shows that new drivers are more likely to crash than seasoned ones. This is why the new driving lessons will ensure that learner drivers get more time to exercise their skills. Mobility minister Weyts also wants to ensure that learner drivers gain greater experience before they hit the roads:

"The first kilometres on the roads are usually the most dangerous for new drivers. There should be sufficient time to develop the right skills. We are extending the learning period by a factor of three in order to prepare new drivers."

Drivers wishing to train learner drivers privately, e.g. sons and daughters, will also have to attend a driving school for a three hour course or take the course from an independent instructor before they start the initiation.

Ben Weyts: "Drivers teaching others play a crucial role in the learning process. We really want them to set the right example. We really must ensure that the wrong skills are not passed on."

Mr Weyts insists that getting your driving licence remains cheap in Flanders: "Nowhere in Europe is it cheaper. We possess a unique system that I wished to retain. Even after the reforms it's the cheapest in Europe."