I've just passed my driving test. Again. Well, the theory part, at least.
You can take a practise test on the websitewww.safedrivingforlife.info which is a lot of fun as well as making you reconsider bad driving habits you may have acquired over the years.
They give you an hour to answer 50 multiple choice questions. I did it in five minutes and got 48 out of 50.
Some of them, I admit, are fairly basic. Such as: “As you approach a pelican crossing the lights change to green. Elderly people are halfway across. You should: 1 flash your lights, 2 wave them to cross as quickly as they can, 3 rev your engine to make them hurry, or 4 wait because they will take longer to cross.”
And no, driving round them, waving a fist, is not one of the choices.
There are other questions that make you think twice but I can’t help thinking it’s a fairly simple test that people can pass easily as long as they are prepared to use a modicum of intelligence and fib.
I mean, how many drivers simply ease up and sit back with a smile of reconciliation on their face, after a man in a white van cuts them up on the motorway.
“After you, my son, never mind that you almost killed me. You are obviously in a hurry and I have all the time in the world, even though I’m late for a kidney transplant.”
I passed my test at the first attempt, of course, when I was 17.
“One of the flashiest young drivers I have ever experienced,” said the chap, as he handed me my pass certificate. I took it as a compliment, for those were the days when I wore dark glasses and those driving gloves with the fingers missing.
These days, I’m more careful and considerate after decades of experience, early near misses and seeing the results of motor vehicle accidents at close hand after eight years as a police reporter.
I took the test because this has been Road Safety Week and also because my daughter has started riding a bike again at the age of 36. She gave up her last bicycle when she was 12 when she got a pony and she had no road sense then.
She wears a Flash Gordon helmet and day-glow vest but even so needs all the help she can get from other road users.
Cyclists and motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable people on our highways.
This week’s road safety theme has been “look out for each other” which is a laudible sentiment.
It’s worth remembering that all road users, whether cyclists or white van drivers, are someone’s daughter, son, mother, father or partner. Let’s look out for them all.