To obtain a category B driving licence in Sweden, learners can start to practise driving, either with an accompanying person and/or a driving instructor, from 16 years old. Until now, the only compulsory element of driver training has been a 180 minute ‘risk education’ programme on a skid pan which addresses themes such as speed, road safety and driving in special conditions. This programme is taken towards the end of driver training, and before the theory and practical test.
As of 1 April 2009, this compulsory risk education will be expanded. The original programme above will remain (‘part 2’), and a new compulsory part (‘part 1’) will be added. This is a classroom-based course focusing on alcohol, drugs, fatigue and risky behaviour in general. The minimum education time is, again, 180 minutes.
Both parts 1 and 2 of risk education must be completed and validated before taking the theoretical and practical driving licence tests. These risk education courses can be carried out by education providers that are approved by the Swedish Transport Agency. The instructors must attend a special course to be able to deliver the programme.
The reason for introducing part 1 is because young drivers have a high accident risk and the fact that alcohol and other drugs are often risk factors contributing to the accidents of young drivers.
NOTE: CIECA’s member organisation in Sweden, the Swedish Road Administration or ‘Vägverket’, has been integrated into the new Swedish Transport Agency (‘Transportstyrelsen’) which began its functions on January 1st 2009. The new agency is responsible for ensuring good accessibility, high quality, secure and environmentally-aware rail, air, sea and road transport.