Hands up all those learner drivers who would like to get their driving licence and NOT have to take the driving test. All you have to do is be 18 and you more or less get given a driving licence. Sounds good doesn’t it ? No expense on driving lessons, no test day nerves. Just wake up and off you go.
What sounds like a great idea has BECOME REALITY !!! Can you believe that?
As the Corona Virus hit the UK, and social distancing made its first steps into our heads. The DVSA (The guys who manage our driving testing system) announced that all theory and practical tests were to stop and candidates would be refunded or re-scheduled. Not an ideal situation, but a necessary one. I don’t know of any of my pupils that didn’t actually understand why so well done to all of you. Road safety has to be the no 1 priority in all of this and there was no other option, or was there.
Over the water in the Great US of A one state governor has come up with his own idea of managing driving tests in his state, that being the state of Georgia. This really is quite unbelievable, he has stopped all testing and if you had your test booked and met some very simple criteria (one of them being you must be 18) you can have your driving licence. YES YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY. Just go online and claim your driving licence. Whatever happened to road safety?
Here’s the official announcement taken from the Georgia State web site https://dds.georgia.gov/covid-19-and-road-test-appointments
WHY WE TEST
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had a pupil ask say “It would be so much easier if you could just "sign me off” yes it probably would could you imagine how open to abuse that system would be. There are good eggs and bad eggs in all industries and its easy to imagine some unscrupulous instructors taking a payment and signing a pupil off without the pupil meeting the correct standard. It certainly existed with the PASS PLUS scheme.
Without “independent” testing road safety would be seriously compromised, with drivers who simply don’t understand situations “winging it” all over the place. Lets be honest there are enough bad drivers around today who HAVE PASSED THEIR TEST. Just think of the carnage if we abandoned testing.
I’ll be honest the UK driving test is known to be one of the more difficult to pass, and it probably is when you look at driving tests in some other countries. When actually Iif you are fully prepared it is a really easy driving test. I’m sure some people have just shouted at their screen after that comment. Bare with me. Let me introduce you to one of my favourite sayings “Driving is easy, its the demons in your head that are the problem”.
If you speak to someone who has failed their driving test, and ask them why they did what they did to fail, their standard response is “I don’t normally do that” ! From somewhere a demon came into play (I will go into more detail on the various driving demons in another post. Suffice to say DEMONS EXIST.
Driving test nerves, has always played a part in learning to drive and passing the driving test. We’ve had some fantastic drivers fail their driving test quite simply because of the nerves due to the difference between a driving lesson and the added pressure of having an examiner sat next to you in a High Viz jacket, staring at you and poised to mark his sheet whenever you make a mistake.
I passed my test in 1983 (yes a long time ago) but in a way it hasn’t really changed, by that I mean it was a day filled with nerves as I waited to be judged by an independent examiner. Did test day nerves come into play, definitely on the first test which I FAILED, but did go on to pass second time.
Testing is the only way of guaranteeing that someone has met the MINIMUM STANDARD for driving on UK roads. Passing it doesn’t mean you are a fantastic drive, it just means its time to lose the L plates and “have a go” at driving on your own, without the need for someone sitting next to you.
Although their may now be a lot of happy people in Georgia, how confident or safe on the roads are they. Only time will tell.
Thanks for reading