Driving test: remedial driving for 2.5 hours

If a learner driver commits a serious offense in the first two years, they will have to undergo an evaluation drive with a so-called “clean time” of two and a half hours. Otherwise, he will lose his license, the Transport Ministry said in recent days.

The authorities set the length of the evaluation drive at four hours but included an initial one-hour theoretical lecture and a final half-hour driving evaluation with an instructor.

“Of the four hours, two and a half hours of the evaluation time is for the ride-along, which is quite a lot if we think about the final driving test for the driver’s license. The examination will therefore be thorough,” František Jemelka, a spokesman for the ministry, said.

The final driving test in a driving school usually lasts only 20 to 30 minutes. In addition to the evaluation drive, a novice driver will have to attend a traffic psychology lecture after an offense. Even this will not be the shortest; it will take four hours.

The driving test is part of the forthcoming changes to the Road Traffic Act, which are due to come into force at the start of 2024. It is intended to apply to all new drivers, regardless of age, in the first two years after getting their license.

If the person commits any serious offense rated at six penalty points out of 12, they would have to complete an evaluation drive and lecture within the next three months.

Inspiration by Germany

The Department of Transport has taken inspiration from Germany and Austria for the driving test, where it is best practice.

An amendment to the law, introduced last month by Minister Martin Kupka (ODS), includes the possibility for 17-year-olds to get behind the wheel. But they will only be allowed to drive with a so-called mentor by their side, which the ministry assumes will most often be a parent.

The standard is also intended to simplify the penalty point system. Points will now be added in increments of two, four, and six. The maximum of twelve penalty points will remain. Kupka wants to toughen penalties for dangerous offenses such as running red lights or using a mobile phone while driving. He wants to be more benevolent for minor offenses such as not switching on lights.

The rules for overtaking cyclists should also be changed, although the current regulation has only been in force since January.

Under the proposal, the mandatory 1.5-meter lateral separation between the overtaking car and the cyclist would continue to apply only at vehicle speeds above 30 km/h.

The draft amendment is due to go to the government in the autumn and then head to parliament for approval.