Testing times are not all bad

Deborah Punshon
Deborah Punshon
Share this article

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.

Want to comment on this article? Click here to sign up.

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.