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The PCV theory test has two parts: multiple-choice and hazard perception. The latter portion of the test involves watching 19 videos on a computer screen with the objective of identifying 20 developing hazards accurately and as quickly as possible. Candidates must score 67 on this portion of the test to pass. Apparently, one bus driver in Norwich either forgot what he learned from the PCV theory test or simply ignored it.

News reports say the driver was attempting to overtake a bin lorry by manoeuvring his double-decker bus along the right side of the street. In so doing, he caused the bus to slam into an overhanging tree. Pictures of the incident show a rather large branch that had pierced the upper portion of the bus and was still sticking through the front window long after first responders arrived. Thankfully, only one passenger was injured. His injuries were minor enough that he was treated at the scene.

Bus operator First said in an official statement that they did not yet know what caused the accident. They promised a full investigation following their opportunity to speak to the unnamed driver. The bus itself remained stuck on the wrong side of the road for several hours while emergency crews worked to free it from the tree.

This Is Why Hazard Perception Is Important

Barring further details of the Norwich incident being released, there is no way to know for sure what happened in this case. It could be that the driver’s actions were well within the boundaries of safe driving practices and that he was merely caught off guard by a tree he did not realise would be a problem.

Be that as it may, this is why the hazard perception portion of the PCV theory test is so necessary. PCV licence candidates have no idea what is involved in driving such large and heavy commercial vehicles. They do not understand that buses need more space to manoeuvre, more space to stop, and greater clearance where things such as trees and bridges are concerned. The whole point of hazard perception is to get candidates thinking in that direction before they begin their actual training.

A good training provider builds on the PCV theory test by further dealing with hazard perception during training. Teaching new drivers how to recognise developing hazards before these become a problem is one of the most important aspects of driver safety. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The HGV Training Centre is proud to offer PCV driver training throughout the UK. Students that sign up with us can utilise our PCV theory test preparation classes, or else prepare to take the test by themselves. In either case, candidates must pass both portions of the test within one year in order to be eligible to receive practical skills training. We can provide complete details of the training process when you contact us for more information.

Sources:

Training Journal – https://www.trainingjournal.com/articles/news/radical-rethink-needed-uk-engineering-education-says-report

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