— After months of delays attributable to the coronavirus pandemic, the state Division of Motor Automobiles is ramping up a brand new method of conducting highway exams for younger drivers.

Quite than have DMV employees within the automotive with a driver making an attempt to barter site visitors and parallel park, the company has developed a no-contact “highway take a look at” that takes place in parking heaps. The DMV staffer stays exterior the car, giving the driving force instructions to observe, and the car parking zone is about up with site visitors indicators the driving force should navigate.

“I used to be much more nervous about this one as a result of I didn’t know what it will be like. It was positively completely different than what I anticipated it to be,” stated Matthew Stutts, who handed his highway take a look at on Monday. “They’d me do a three-point flip. Then, they’d me again up in a straight line after which do a security cease.”

“The one distinction is it’s a a lot shorter take a look at than what a highway take a look at could be, and so they’re not out in common site visitors,” DMV spokesman Steve Abbott stated.

Lawmakers waived an earlier highway take a look at requirement for starting pupil drivers final yr, however by regulation, younger drivers nonetheless must cross no less than one highway take a look at to get their full license. The DMV has been providing some highway exams since October, however it’s been extraordinarily restricted due to the pandemic.

Abbott stated the company just lately doubled the variety of instructors and areas for the brand new take a look at. He stated he expects to see greater demand for the highway exams as extra colleges reopen.

“Individuals should have endurance. You’re not going to name or contact us on Monday and get a take a look at Tuesday,” he stated. “Relying on the placement, it may very well be every week to 4 weeks.”

Stutts stated he’s been eligible for the highway take a look at since January, however it took a while to get an appointment.

Final week, a state Senate committee accredited a invoice to just accept highway exams given by exterior distributors in addition to the DMV. That proposal nonetheless has quite a lot of steps earlier than probably changing into regulation.