One for the instructors ... - Ian (Cape Town)
A supermarket worker in England has passed her driving test at the twentieth attempt after taking more than 300 lessons.

Sue McIlwraith of West Bromwich said she was delighted to have made the breakthrough after spending £7 000 on tuition since 1996.

etc etc etc.

I'm sure we've all seen plenty of stories like this one.

Do we say "Well done for persevering" or "You just ain't good enough, Madam!"

What do the Backroomers think?

And what do the professional instructors think? Do you sometimes simply tell a 'pupil': "You are just not capable of safely driving a motor vehicle. Take the bus."?

One for the instructors ... - CM
Tempted to say not good enough but then that isn;t vey friendly is it.
One for the instructors ... - frostbite
Considering it's taken them all that effort merely to prove competence to pass the test, doesn't bode well for their ability in everyday situations.
One for the instructors ... - volvoman
I look at it like this - she failed all her tests bar one and is now allowed out on the roads on her own!

She consistently failed probably because a) she can't drive, b) she doesn't have a clue where she is on the road, c) she can't handle stressful situations, d) she can't anticipate what those around her are likely to do and e) she can't even anticpate what SHE is going to do at any particular point!

Sorry to be harsh but for all these reasons I'm inclined to think there should be a cut off point after which a 'learner' has effectively prooved he/she will never be able to drive and are therefore given a discounted bus pass instead of a licence.
One for the instructors ... - Phoenicks
I agree with you totally volvoman. It think 300 lessons is a bit of a hint....
One for the instructors ... - Liverpaul
Completely agree volvoman, however harsh it may be. Some people may say that they failed because of nerves. If you're a competant driver, getting nervous will not stop you passing the test. A lack of natural ability behind the wheel, maybe, but not nerves, and definitely not 20 times worth of nerves. It would be difficult to say what number of tests taken means a permanent fail, but it must be 10 at tops. Alternatively how about allowing retests after say the first five only on a yearly basis or longer.

I for one believe that everyone should be retested every 10 years or so, and that this should include motorway driving (where possible). Maybe then people would realise that the inside lane is to be used by cars and is not just for lorries, so when it's clear they use it and do not just sit blocking the outer two lanes.

The sooner ignorant and selfish driving is clamped down on, the better for the rest of us.

There endeth my rant.

Paul
One for the instructors ... - Welliesorter
...I'm inclined
to think there should be a cut off point after which
a 'learner' has effectively prooved he/she will never be able to
drive and are therefore given a discounted bus pass instead of
a licence.


I'm inclined to agree, but at what point should that cut off be? Would it be determined by number of lessons or failed tests?

To declare an interest, I passed at the age of 34, on my second attempt. I gave up counting the lessons when the number reached the hundreds.

One for the instructors ... - Mark (RLBS)
But the cut-off point is the problem.

Say for argument that the cut-off is 30 tests. Does that mean that someone who passes after 29 tests is a better driver than one who would pass after 31 ?? Its not that precise.

Time delay wouldn't help either. If someone has to wait a year for their 30th test, what will that do ? OK, keep them off the road for a year, but I don't see that it will do much else.

Repeated testing for everyone, every 10 years or so, is probably the only answer - and I cannot think how the DVLA would even begin to cope with that.

One for the instructors ... - Colin M
When I took my written and practical tests for my commercial pilots licence there were 20 exams in two separate blocks of 10. There were also two flying tests, the general flight test and an instrument rating.

To be issued with a CPL, all the exams and tests had to be passed within a year. In the block of 10 exams, you could sit a retake if you failed 1 or 2 of them. The pass mark was 70% for most, 100% for a couple of the exams. If you failed 3 or more, you had to resit the whole block.

The same with the flight tests.

You were allowed 3 attempts (in your lifetime) to get a pass in everything. If you failed to do this, you could not ever gain a commercial pilots licence.

The UK driving test has to be one of the lowest standards in the civilised world. I agree motorway driving and refresher tests would be an excellent idea. The same way that plenty of people do not have the aptitude to fly a plane, many don't have the ability to safely control a vehicle and we see examples on our roads every day.

It shouldn't be a God given right that every citizen is entitled to a driving licence, lets get the standards cranked up a bit and accept that for some people, it's better to go by bus.

One for the instructors ... - Mark (RLBS)
The only driving test I have done in another part of the "civilised" world was in California. Now *that* was easy.

M.
One for the instructors ... - Welliesorter
The only driving test I have done in another part of
the "civilised" world was in California. Now *that* was easy.


I've been told that the Florida driving test doesn't even involve leaving the car park. Is California the same?

Perhaps this explains why US residents can't exchange their licences for a British one.
One for the instructors ... - trancer
"I've been told that the Florida driving test doesn't even involve leaving the car park."

This is false, but its not far from the truth either depending on which DMV (DVLA) office you go to. When I was getting my license, there were cones set up that you had to demonstrate parking ability with, followed by a 5-10 minute drive around the testing centre on local residential streets. So depending on how long you took to sort out your parking test you could have spent more time in the car park than on the streets.

At the time I took the test I was 16, had never had a formal driving lesson and passed the first time out. I had driven many times before, but that was done illegally without a learner's permit and usually on secluded backroads. The odd time I did drive in traffic on main roads was when dear old Dad had one too many and thought I would do a better job at getting us home than he would. 8-)

I will never forget his sage advice at the time, "If you see a car coming and you don't think you have enough room to get by, I would rather you hit the bushes than the oncoming car. Its much easier explaining things to the vegetation than an angry driver".
One for the instructors ... - TrevP
In some States, the "instructors" for the 16-year olds are the school gym teachers.
One for the instructors ... - TrevP
"The UK driving test has to be one of the lowest standards in the civilised world."

Sorry, but it's one of the toughest.

The problem comes when (nearly) everybody says
"Right we've done that test - now we can drive properly"

(properly being a system I make up for myself, which is somehow magically better than that I was taught)
One for the instructors ... - Welliesorter
Another issue would have to be the reasons for failure. You can fail for one serious error or too many minor ones. Also, it's got to be worse to fail for doing something dangerous on the road than to do so by not quite parking within the white lines at the test centre. Parking has, quite rightly, been part of the test for several years now.

Incidentally, there'd be little point in introducing a deliberate delay after a failed test as the normal waiting lists are long enough. My failed test resulted in an extra eight lessons before my second attempt and I was lucky to get that so soon.
One for the instructors ... - outkast
just dont let women,teenagers,old people,dogs,cats,volvo owners etc drive!!!
problem solved!!!
One for the instructors ... - HF
Delicate cough.

Who *can* drive then? Only young outkasts?

Gawd 'elp us all ;)
 

Value my car