Just a week after having a rant about young drivers, which you can read about here, I write this after returning from the theory test with the teenage driver in my household. I suppose that’s what you call timing.
I have also just spoken to the mother of a teenage driver, who passed her test after an intensive course and weeks later no longer has a car. That’s because she wrote it off. There is a lesson there somewhere.
Thank you for the responses to last week’s blog. Certainly many other countries seem to have an approach to driving that is very mature and worth emulating.
For an automotive dinosaur like me the whole concept of completing the theory part of the driving test like a toned-down Grand Theft Auto seems rather alarming.
Back in the very old days, after you had traumatised the examiner with your recently acquired driving skills you then got three random questions usually involving the stopping distance of a Standard 10.
Over the last few weeks all the Ruppert family members feel as though they have been through the test, because there are so many online questionnaires you can do. Plus you can buy DVDs to do the hazard perception test.
Indeed that throws up all sorts of questions. I was talking to an instructor who said that he was obliged to take this test. Along with most others he failed first time. That’s because most things are a hazard so he along with most others clicked on the old lady with the zimmer, the dog off a lead and the black cab that was probably going to do a three point turn in the middle of the road.
Clicking too early was bad. So the test was changed to allow for this and consequently we have developing hazards. You still mustn’t click too early though.
There are also some weird things about everyday driving that may need attention. Some are just plain confusing and some seem to be wrong. I mean if you came across an injured motorcyclist would you really want to put them in the recovery position as the official answer states?
The teenage driver thought the test quite fair. However, the video quality is quite poor for the hazard perception test and the public servants on duty are extremely miserable.
So as good as that part is I believe even more strongly that there is still work to be done on the UK test, especially after talking to that mother who, days after the accident, has only just calmed down.
I want a probationary driving period, maybe a restriction on the size of car that can be driven, some post-test exposure to motorways and night driving and possibly a first aid test and, finally, the ability to conduct a oil change service.
Incidentally the teenage driver is one step closer to getting her hands on the key fob. Theory done, next it is the practical. I am now more worried than ever.