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 with a bit of British ingenuity, incessant grumbling, and a can of shaving foam, we believe we can simulate many of the conditions that drivers would have to cope with during a snowy spell.’
The new test is to encompass all aspects of driving in wintry conditions, and all candidates will be expected to arrive at the Test Centre dressed appropriately for the weather. Anyone not wearing a heavy coat, scarf and ludicrous Russian ‘Ushanka’ hat will be failed immediately, as will anyone who neglects to respond to an examiner’s observation about the simulated wintry conditions by responding, ‘so much for global warming, eh? Eh?’.
‘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 our 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 sit in their car while it is parked on the nearest motorway and motionless for three hours, before abandoning their vehicle and walking 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.’
3 December 2010