Do you remember passing your driving test?

driving test

Do you remember passing your driving test? Forget the feeling of new-found independence or the relief at no longer having to fork out for lessons – do you remember how you drove during the test?

You will have religiously checked your mirrors before signalling and manoeuvring. You will have kept both hands on the steering wheel. You will have driven within the speed limit.

Speeding is casually brushed aside as a socially acceptable crime. Why else would research carried out by the  Department for Transport have shown that 81 per cent of drivers recorded at nine sites across the country in 2016 broke 20mph limits? The same report also shows 53 per cent of drivers exceeding the speed limit on 30mph roads. It’s the same reason that the only road in Britain on which the vast majority of drivers respect the limit are those equipped with average speed cameras.

Named after the ‘safety cars’ that slow speeds on a race track following a crash, America has seen the formation of a ‘pace car’ programmes. In an effort to reduce speeding and encourage safe driving, resident pace car drivers agree to drive courteously, at or below the speed limit, and follow other traffic laws. Programmes usually require interested residents to register as a pace car driver, sign a pledge to abide by the rules, and display a sticker on their vehicle. Although it’s clearly perverse to have otherwise law-abiding people signing pledges to stay within the law, it doesn’t take too many vehicles driving within the speed limit for the most of the fleet to be slowed.

Our collective ‘drive at a speed you can get away with’ attitude costs us dear. It’s not just about the five people killed every day on the roads – although God knows that’s bad enough. Speeding doesn’t simply kill and injure many thousands; the pollution, noise and fear it creates makes our cities, towns and villages unpleasant places to be as well as unsafe. It’s just one of the reasons that as drivers we have a civic, legal and moral responsibility to drive safely and within speed limits.

Just remember the way you drove when you passed your test.

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Beating household-name insurance companies such as John Lewis and the Co-op, we earned an ethical company index score of 89 – earning us joint-first place with Naturesave.

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  1. Clive


    I found having to teach my own teenager to pass theory and drive, as well as being more conscious of setting a good example is an excellent refresher on all the good habits that have slipped over the years.

  2. Frank


    Yes, where I live there is a sign for pedestrians warning them to beware of left turning traffic disobeying No left turn. It’s at the junction of Harehils lane and roundhay road in Leeds, this is also known as the Fforde Greene Junction

  3. Vincent Edwards


    I understand some states in the USA require drivers to take a theory test upon renewal of licence (unlike us, they don’t get a licence for life). Wouldn’t it be a good idea for everyone to take a theory test every five years or so? We would all be forced to read the Highway Code – probably for the first time since before passing our test, and to re-learn what road signs, zig-zags, yellow lines etc etc mean. A lot of drivers appear to have forgotten, if they ever really knew in the first place.

    It need not be expensive, and the test itself could probably be carried out at a designated centre in no more than half an hour (though the revision process before the test might take weeks of hard slog).

    Ideally, perhaps, we would all re-take our practical test every few years. But starting with theory is a cheap way of reminding everyone of how they ought to be driving, and may help some to avoid committing offences based upon regulations they had forgotten about.

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