Earlier this week, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration announced that parallel parking will no longer be a required maneuver for the Driver’s License test. However, the maneuver will remain a part of driver’s education.
According to MVA spokesperson Buel Young, the decision to remove parallel parking came as a result of a reevaluation process for the exam that the administration conducts every few years. It was determined that the skillset assessed in the parallel parking portion were identical to those for the reverse two-point turnabout. The redundancy necessitated one component to be crossed out. A few years ago, the same evaluation process called for the transition from a closed course test to one that involved operating in traffic.
Nonetheless, Young explained that parallel parking will still be a requirement for driver’s education courses, as the same maneuvers are necessary to complete the two point turnabout component.
“It’s like studying for a test, but not all the materials will be on the test. This is one of the things that just won’t tested,” Young said, “I don’t want to alarm anyone, but you definitely still need to know the same skillset to pass the test.”
Young explained that there will be no additional requirement to the test even with the removal of parallel parking.
Student responses to this change have been mostly positive.
“It’s awesome because I can’t parallel park for my life but also I feel like now I’ll never end up learning how to,” said Meghan Hu, a student at Richard Montgomery High School.
Azeem Mohammed from Poolesville High School said that though “[he] hasn’t practiced it yet, he likes it better that the test is easier.”
“I’m relieved. It’s one less thing to learn,” said Brian Ko of Blair High School.
Xavier Roberts-Gaal, a student at Whitman, stated that he believes “it’s bad that our drivers won’t be forced to learn an essential skill.” Nonetheless “[parallel parking] is not something I’m worried about right now,” he said.
But students should still be concerned and learn how to properly parallel park, implored Young. “Even if it’s not tested, students will still need to know the maneuver if they’re going to be driving out there in the real world,” he said.