DRIVING examiners are expected to stage a 48-hour walkout as a new test comes into force.

More than 222,000 learner drivers will take the new driving test, which aims to ensure “a lifetime of safe driving”.

The changes aim to account of modern technology, with candidates being asked to follow directions from a satellite navigation system, for example.

Reversing manoeuvres will also change, and learners must answer a vehicle safety question.

Many examiners will be joining a two-day strike from Monday, when the new test is introduced, potentially leaving thousands of learner drivers facing delays and cancelled tests.

The Public and Commercial Service union (PCS) said up to 14,000 driving tests could be cancelled on Monday.

The union said examiners were being told to work longer and harder for no extra pay when the new tests are introduced.

Many of those threatening to strike claim the new test involves dangerous elements, including a manoeuvre of pulling up on the right.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said there was still time for the Government to agree to "serious talks" and avoid the action.

He added: “Members have tried to negotiate around their concerns but the door has been slammed shut in their face. They now feel they have no alternative but to take industrial action."

Most fatal collisions occur on high-speed roads, so the independent driving element of the test will increase to 20 minutes in the hope that more of these types of roads can be included.

Lesley Young, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) chief driving examiner, said: “New drivers are most at risk during the first few months of driving after they pass their test.

“We need to encourage more practice on a wider range of roads and traffic situations to reduce that risk.

"Changing the test to be more realistic to real life driving will better prepare drivers to keep safe.”

What the new test means. Information from www.gov.uk The 4 driving test changes

1. Independent driving part of the test will increase to 20 minutes The independent driving part of the test currently lasts around 10 minutes. During this part of the test, you have to drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner.

This part of the test will be made longer, so it’ll last around 20 minutes - roughly half of the test.

2. Following directions from a sat nav During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav.

The examiner will provide the sat nav (a TomTom Start 52) and set it up. You won’t need to set the route - the examiner will do this for you. So, it doesn’t matter what make or model of sat nav you practise with.

You can’t follow directions from your own sat nav during the test - you have to use the one supplied by the examiner.

You’ll be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you’re not sure. It won’t matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a fault while doing it.

One in 5 driving tests won’t use a sat nav. You’ll need to follow traffic signs instead.

3. Reversing manoeuvres will be changed The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but you should still be taught them by your instructor.

You’ll be asked to do one of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres: parallel park at the side of the road park in a bay - either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do) pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic

4. Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re driving The examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions during your driving test - these are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.

You’ll be asked the: ‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving ‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving - for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers