The pupil is approaching a junction to turn right into a fairly wide side road. Visibility is good, after ensuring it is safe to turn and the side road is free of traffic movement, the learner turns into the side road, cutting the corner very slightly. No potential danger was caused to ORUs because the pupil checked the situation before turning. On a driving test this would be recorded as a driving fault. It would not result in a failure.
The pupil is approaching the same right turn. This time the visibility into the side road is severely restricted by parked vehicles, making it impossible for the pupil to see whether or not there is traffic approaching the end of the new road. The pupil blatantly cuts the corner into this unknown situation. No actual danger occurred because no ORU appeared from the side road. This incident involved potential danger and the pupil would fail the test.
Exactly the same circumstances as the examples above, the pupil cuts the corner. This time another vehicle appears approaching at the end of the side road. The other driver has to brake to avoid a collision. This incident involved actual danger therefore; the pupil would fail the test.
Driving, Serious or Dangerous?
It is not necessary for you to be able to grade errors exactly to the DSA Driving Test criteria. While some degree of standardisation is desirable, it is not absolutely essential to get it right all the time, you need not worry unduly over this matter. In any event the difference between serious and dangerous is purely academic because in both instances the result is the same – failure.
The difference between a driving fault and a serious fault is this situation however, could mean the difference between a pass and a fail. Using again the above examples for comparison, we can define the errors in a different way. The essential difference between the two incidents is that the pupil committing the driving fault in the first example was able to see that the new road was clear. In the second example the fault was a serious fault because the pupil was unable to see if the new road was clear but, was prepared to take a risk or was completely unaware of any risk.
The fault really is not a difference between two people cutting a corner with one of them getting away with it. One was able to see and might well have acted differently had the visibility been restricted; the other proved to be totally unaware of the danger caused by the parked vehicles. It is only possible to assess the actions of a pupil in the light of the prevailing situation.