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Success at last!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by dlloyd, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Passed my driving test yesterday.

    I can now replace my 14 year old provisional licence with something less scabby... :D
  2. haha.. i didn't get my license until i was 26 (legal driving age was 16 mind you :D )
  3. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Well done David! I'm still trying :)
  4. Aqueousillusion


    Feb 8, 2005
    Well, I hope I will have the privilege to come on here and say I passed. I will know when I take my test on the 19th

    Good Job. Drive safe... :)
  5. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Good luck... and if it doesn't work out on this one, it's no big deal. It took me four attempts. Observation is everything.
  6. Make sure that if you have to creep into a crosswalk to see aronud an obstructed corner, TELL THE TESTER!! I got nailed for that the first time around, and failed the test. Second time, I told her. She didn't dock me for it, and actually thanked me for being a careful driver.

    Legal for the last 6 years, and only had one accident, which wasn't my fault.

    Rock on
  7. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Wow, I don't understand how so many have trouble with something so simple. I had my license in under a month from turning of legal age, passing everything the first time easily. It's not rocket science.
  8. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    The British driving test is, by all accounts, a bit more stringent than its US counterparts (I have friends who have sat both and their take on it is that the US test is a bit of a joke in comparison). I only have experience of the UK test, I'll give you a run-down of what's involved in it and you can draw your own conclusions...

    First you've got to sit a multiple choice theory test and a computer simulated hazard perception test. Only then are you allowed to apply to sit a practical test. Depending on the test center, it usually takes six to eight weeks to get a practical test.

    The practical test involves 40 minutes of driving through heavy urban traffic. First you're asked questions on car maintainance. You need to be able to demonstrate that you know how to check lights are all working, that there is enough oil in the engine, enough brake fluid, etc. before you move off. This bit took me a bit by surprise as it wasn't part of the test when I took it previously... it's common sense though.

    Your driving style has to be smooth all the way through. No excessive braking or jerky gear changes. Your lane discipline has to be perfect. You have to make obvious indications that you're checking the mirrors before every manoeuvre... you've got 15 strikes for minor infringements. Crunch the gears once and you're okay, you've only got one strike. It's easy to accumulate the strikes in the 40 minutes though.

    If you make any major errors (errors that impact on another driver), you automatically fail. I failed one test for stalling the engine at a junction and holding up drivers waiting behind me for about 5 seconds, longer (supposedly) than was necessary. Not adhering strictly to speed limits is another major error.

    You've got to perform two of four possible reversing manoeuvres. Reverse bay parking (from either side), reverse parallel parking, three-point turn, reversing around a corner. There's a fairly strict form to all of these... for example, reversing around the corner, you've basically got to park beyond a junction (usually left hand, although it theoretically can be a right hand junction) and reverse around the corner, keeping one to two foot distance from the kerb, all the time demonstrating that you're fully aware of what's going on all around you. If you swing out too much (say, three foot from the kerb), it's a minor infringement. Drive onto the kerb and it's pretty much an automatic fail.

    I think that only leaves the hill start and the emergency stop, which are fairly self-explanatory. You have to be able to drive off from parked on a steep incline and you have to be able to demonstrate that you can brake suddenly.

    All the while this is happening, you've got to be able to have a conversation with the examiner. Maybe I'm being a bit cynical here, but there does seem to have been a concious effort on the part of the examiners every time I've sat the test, to distract me. It's not enough to be able to negotiate a one-way traffic system, you've got to be able to do it while describing what you do for a living.

    The reason it took me 14 years? Because there was a gap of 13 years where I didn't try as I didn't need a car.

    Edit: here's a fairly good description of what goes on in the UK test...

  9. Congrats!
  10. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    By the way, did you really need to question my intelligence because Toasted said you were fat? :eyebrow:

    Edit: Memory lapse.

    Toasted said a guy that weighs 1,100 lbs was fat. Tim had a problem with the way Toasted said that and noted that he is not the skinniest at 230 lbs.

    Tim doesn't like Toasted, and the feeling appears to be mutually reciprocated.

    Replace the italicised part with "you don't like Toasted?" and it works better.
  11. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    having taken both, I can say with some certainty that the UK test is a good bit harder than the US equivalent.
    In Europe, stick shifts (manual) cars are more prevalent. When I took my UK test, in '88, if you wanted to drive a manual you had to take and pass your test in a manual. If you take your test in an automatic, you can ONLY drive automatics.
    So, there's that to start with. Then there's things like highway driving, hill starts (which again need more coordination when you drive a manual transmission) etc.

    Now, my father took his driving test while he was in the Royal Air Force in the 1950s. By all accounts, he had to start the car and drive it forward 20 feet. Then he had to reverse it back 10 feet. Bingo, he had his driving license!
  12. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    My grandfather was an examiner (at least that was part of his role as member of the police) in Rhodesia in the 1940s and '50s. As he described it, that's how he conducted the tests with a couple of important distinctions...

    There were four other students in the back seat. If the driver passed, they all passed.

    There was an unofficial alternative way of passing. Buy him a packet of cigarettes and you only had to roughly describe how you might go about driving forward and backward.

  13. Wow, your test IS harder. I took a 10 minute written test and I got my picture taken.

    No actual driving involved :eek:
  14. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    You're joking?????
  15. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    For my test, I got in the car, and the instructor followed. He closed his door, and said "this is my day off, just go through the motions and I'll pass ya, I wanna go back to sleep" and I drove around and passed.

    But there's a lot of morons out there with licences who shouldn't. For instance, today, my girlfriend pulled into a parking spot, and tried to fix her positioning, put it in reverse and tries to back up without turning her head around. She's relying on mirrors in a Honda CRV! So, lo and behold, she almost hit a lady, I warned her, she stopped, and waited for the lady to move so she could nearly back up into a Suburban. I told her to get out of the car and I'd fix it. So I did.

    I mean, hey, if I can parallel park an 18 foot long El Camino in a 20 foot parking spot in three steps, I must be a good driver ;)

  16. Well, sort of, but it's not that far from the truth.

    When I was 15 I took what is called Driver's Education, where I had to drive about 5 hours (5 one-hour sessions), but before I even drove I had to get a learner's permit, which allows me to drive as long as someone 21+ is with me. I got that permit on written testing alone - zero driving. Am I scaring you yet?

    After I passed the course, I went to my local DPS (Department of Public Safety, other states have DMVs), took another 10 minute written test, had my picture taken, and my unrestricted license came in the mail 2 weeks later.

    Edit: It's important to note I was 16 when I got my "real" license. Some states don't let you get your license til 17-18.
  17. That cannot be right...

  18. Unless I was a rarity who slipped through the cracks, this is standard of the Texas DPS.

    I've never taken a driving test - period. Those driver's ed courses were my only driving "tests"

    Had I not taken driver's ed, I think then I'd have to take a driving test.
  19. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    The bit that scares me is...

    I vaguely remember being 15. I wasn't ready to drive then, but it sounds like I would have been unleashed, had I lived in Texas. :eek: :eek: :eek:

    I guess it comes down to there being a lot less pedestrians to drive into/over per mile of road in Texas compared with the UK.

    That's not so bad. You can drive as a learner without any testing at all here, as long as you're with someone who is 21+ and has had a full licence for 3 or more years and they have their own rear view mirror in the car. You have to display learner plates, not drive on a motorway (interstate type of road) and you're not allowed to drive at night (IIRC).
  20. Heh. I wasn't ready either :)

    Well, my metropolitan area does cover about 5 million people. Not exactly desert where I live :eyebrow:

    We're all the same in the end :)