Roadcraft

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John B Wilkinso

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A little missive for the anti car crowd:

My Driving Test

I arrived at the Driving Test Centre at 3:00pm, just in time for tea. I introduced myself and the
Examiner shook my hand. We it then left the Centre and walked into the street. Just before reaching
the car, he stopped and asked me to read the number plate of a car parked by other side of the road.
I told him I couldn't even see the car. He said never mind. After all, I was keen.

I signalled 'stand by for take-off' and pulled out from the kerb, narrowly missing a cyclist. I
still cannot find the signal he gave me anywhere in the Highway Code. The examiner said turn left so
I mounted the pavement, went through a front garden and out into the main road. Along this road
there were some Tram Lines and it was while I was gazing in these that I hit my first pedestrian. I
glanced at my examiner out of the corner of my eye, hit a Milk Float, and returned to the left-hand
side of the road, discreetly using the wiper to remove the milk from the windscreen.

We turned left, this time keeping to the road and started up a steep hill. Halfway up I had to
change down to first gear and luckily found it at the fourth attempt. The traffic lights of the top
of the hill were at Amber and as I wasn't sure exactly what Amber meant, I drove straight on.
Changing up to top gear I messed up a perfect change by finishing with the gear lever up the
Examiner's trouser leg. I didn't notice this at first but the next change nearly threw him out of
the window.

My next move was a right turn and in signalling my intention, I collected the wing mirror of a
passing car. This proved useful later as I had lost my own in during the encounter with the
Milk Float.

Have my next move was a right turn and in signalling my intention, I collected the wing mirror of a
passing car. This proved useful later as I had lost my own during the encounter with the Milk Float.

We stopped and examiner told me I would be required to make an emergency stop during the Test. I
thought he was joking. He said that he would indicate this by saying 'stop' and slapping the
dashboard with a book.

He then told me to pass the next turning on the left, stop and reverse into it. I passed the road
and stopped. After waggling the gear lever about several times, starting the windscreen wiper and
turning on the radio, I eventually managed to put it into reverse gear. On route backwards down the
side road, I hit three Lamp Posts and ran over a cat.

I drove off again and was told to stop halfway up a hill and then to start up using the hand brake
to avoid rolling downhill. This was an extremely hazardous operation for until that moment, and had
no idea we possessed anything like hand brake. The problem was now to find it. I opted my usual
procedure for case like this and tried every knob, button, switch and lever in sight. At last I
found the hand brake and using it very carefully, got the car moving forward. Then the engine
stalled and before I knew what had happened the car rolled down the hill, over the road and through
a hedge, and came to a halt in a chicken run. The drive up hill was uneventful.

On turning left at the top I thought it would be good idea to accelerate to show the examiner how
confident I was at greater speeds. This was nearly my undoing, for while cornering I looked at the
speedometer and failed to observe a parked furniture van. I went straight up the tailboard of the
van, ramming a chest of drawers into a piano, both of which burst into flames. This time I found all
the gears in double quick time and was soon speeding away.

My next manoeuvre was to turn in the road at face opposite direction using forward and reverse gears
without allowing the wheels to touch the kerbs. I started this intricate movement in a side street.
I made the first part to the turn successfully although I slightly overshot the mark and left the
front bumper in a garden wall. The second part of the turn was in reverse I couldn't see how far to
go back, but when I hit a fence, I realised that I had gone a little too far. The final leg of the
turn and was quite straightforward for we mounted the kerb, ran along the grass verge and continued
along the road.

At the end, we stopped at the traffic lights and the Examiner said 'try and get away quickly when
the lights turn green'. I complied with this request but as I had gone into reverse gear instead of
first, it did nothing to improve the appearance of the car behind us. Proceeding along the road I
came to a traffic sign, which I thought I missed but later the examiner showed me that I had lost
the other wing mirror. It was at this point that the examiner decided to try the emergency stop. The
fool didn't give me any warning. He shouted 'stop' and at the same time hitting the dashboard was
his book. He nearly frightened me to death. Anyway after getting out the initial shock I trod hard
on the brake. With a shout, the Examiner shot through the windscreen and landed on the bonnet with a
silly grin on his face.

After this he didn't seem particularly keen to do much more practical work. We returned to the
Driving Test Centre via three front gardens and the wrong way round a roundabout. Just before my
arrival at the Centre my pedestrian score was elevated to three, two at once this time. I stopped
the car by stalling the engine and hitting a bus shelter.

On getting out of the car, the Examiner had no hesitation in handing me the Pass Form. I was mildly
surprised for I thought I not reached my usual standard. He saw my questioning glance however and
said, 'normally I would not pass anyone who drives like you, but as there is a possibility that I
might have take you again for the re-test, I think it would be for better for all concerned if I
passed you now'.

--
John B Wilkinson
 
On Sun, 2 Feb 2003 18:45:01 +0000, John B Wilkinson <[email protected]> wrote:

>A little missive for the anti car crowd:

LOL! You are Paul Smith and ICMFP :-D

Guy
===
** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
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