'Driving standards have dropped during lockdown'

A torn L plate lies on the ground

According to new research, over half of motorists would fail the driving test if they had to retake it - Credit: PA Images

Over half of motorists would fail the driving test if they had to retake it. That’s according to research I saw and also to anyone who has driven lately.

It’s the least shocking start to a column since I wrote the one about what I found a bear had done in Hainault Forest Country Park. Looking back, there aren’t a lot of bears that near there so I may have followed some wrong ‘uns on a walk.

I don’t know if it has been the year of having to drive less but it feels like there has been a drop in the standard of driving. People have stopped indicating at roundabouts.

Steve Allen.

Steve Allen's mood is lifting as lockdown eases - Credit: Steve Allen

The research said we would all fail our resits because we don’t brush up on the Highway Code. It is regularly updated but most drivers never refresh their knowledge.

It’s a strange system when you think about it. We let people drive because they proved they could do it in their late teens.


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There are many things that I could do in my late teens that I can’t quite manage these days. Thankfully, very few of them happen in public.

The trouble is the test doesn’t fit reality. I have never reversed round a corner in my driving career. If a three-point turn becomes a seven-point turn, no one dies. If I tap the kerb while parallel parking, it lets me know where I am.

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We need a test that most safe drivers would pass without revision. They could make us sit that again and again.

Don’t worry about it though. It was only last week we heard that there’s a backlog of new drivers waiting to take their test.

There’s no way they could introduce retesting. If they ever did, let’s hope they give us a good indication first.

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