According to the Driving Standards Agency, from 4 October 4 there will be something in the driving test called ‘independent driving’.
This is very exciting, of course, and means that there won’t be any set routes for the driving test.
According to Peter Rodger, chief examiner at the Institute of Advanced Motorists: “Making the test more true to life is a definite step forward - the more realistic the examination process the better. All new drivers have to learn that multi tasking - controlling the car, looking out for hazards and planning ahead while navigating - is an integral part of day-to-day driving.
“Driving instructors will no doubt learn the routes over time, and use them when teaching, but there is at least some reflection of reality in that most of us drive familiar routes most of the time.”
Don’t know what you make of all that, but a million years after my test I really don’t think it mattered which way I went because it was either my sister or my dad who were taking me out for driving and I was not privy to the set routes that the BSM instructors knew all about. That may explain why I took two goes to pass the test. But actually I know why I failed first time round and that was because the rear window steamed up.
It was October and the condensation built up on the rear window, which meant that the reversing around the corner manoeuvre went a bit wonky. I had even put a piece of tape on the rear window to indicate where the pavement should be.
A few months later in February, it was snowing, I’d executed a spectacular skid, which I later found out was a puncture. Later on the hill start, my Mini’s failing handbrake could not hold it. Even so I managed to pass the test.
So I just wondered how many goes you took and whether or not your test on the prescribed route was with or without incident. Oh yes, just what else we could introduce to make the test just a tad ‘more true to life’? Kamikaze cyclists? Drunken Friday night revellers? White vans? BMW drivers?