With the country’s roads at a virtual standstill in the icy grip of another Arctic winter, the Government has announced that the revised driving test, designed to examine candidates’ ability to cope with harsh conditions, will be rolled out in time for the British Summer.
‘Of course we appreciate that a driving test taking place in July may not exactly match the conditions that may confront a driver on a snowy winter morning,’ said Chief Driving Examiner, Trevor Wedge. ‘But we have given a lot thought to this and believe we can simulate many of the conditions that drivers would have to cope with during an icy spell.’
Before taking the driving test, learner drivers will have to sit a theory test in which a series of multiple choice questions will require candidates to demonstrate their knowledge of winter motoring by tacking some challenging questions such as:
What is a cold spell of weather known as?
(a) a cold snap
(b) a coldwave
(c) a coldplay
You and your girlfriend going away for the weekend and winter weather is forecast. What precautions should you take?
(b) a freshly boiled kettle and clean towels
(c) 20 tog duvet
Those passing the theory test will be allowed to tackle the all new winter simulated driving test which will become mandatory from 1st June next year. All candidates will be expected to arrive at the Test Centre dressed appropriately for the weather. Anyone not wearing a sensible hat, coat and scarf will be failed immediately.
‘Before we set off we will inspect the car, ’ explained Mr Wedge, ‘checking to ensure the car is adequately prepared with extra blankets, a shovel in the boot and a flask of hot soup, preferably mulligatawny, as that is my favourite.”
‘When it comes to winter driving it is vital to ensure that motorists have clear vision,’ continued the Driving Standards Agency chief. ‘So in a typical test the examinee will be expected to demonstrate that they can wipe a misty windscreen with the back of their gloved hand whilst setting the heater to maximum. To add authenticity pour examiners are authorised to play ‘Last Christmas’ on the car’s CD and make helpful comments like ‘Typical, not a bloody gritter in sight’. Finally, at the end of the test learners will be expected to abandon their vehicle and walk back to the test centre complaining about the treacherous state of the roads.’
A police spokesman welcomed the news of an improved test but expressed concern that the test may prove to be too realistic, even in June. ‘Given the conditions being simulated, we would advise learners to cancel their examination unless it is absolutely essential.’