Testing times are not all bad

Deborah Punshon
Deborah Punshon
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It’s fair to say that I received a fair bit of stick when I failed a faux driving test a few weeks ago.

It was organised for an editorial feature to test the standards of a ‘typical’ and so-called qualified driver, and I thought it might be a bit of fun.

Personally, I blame, Gary Hutchison, one of the Falkirk Herald’s esteemed photographers.

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Around five minutes before getting in the driving seat with my examiner, Gary took (really quite nice) victorious pictures of me laughing and happily ripping up L-plates.

We needed pictures to go alongside the piece, and these were taken in expectation that I was going to pass.

I was destined to fail.

An hour later, I gave the thumbs-down sign to my colleagues back in the office, and I let the onslaught begin.

But I can honestly say that, even though I failed, I’m a better driver for it.

I’ve spent the past few weeks looking over my shoulder before moving off, keeping both hands on the wheel and squeezing the brakes whenever I see a streetlamp.

I’ve also been tutting emphatically at other drivers who have been carrying out all sorts of sloppy manoeuvres and abandoning common courtesy by not indicating or driving too close.

I think everyone knows that, after years on the road, standards slip.

Life gets in the way and you’re either in a hurry or a bad mood, and you take it out on the wheel.

A week or so ago, Gary (the tempting-fate photographer), informed me that Radio Scotland presenter John Beattie had followed in my tyre tracks and had also failed a re-sit.

And I hope he enjoyed the eye-opener as much as I did.