Monday 11 December 2017

I've only gone and passed my driving test - what an achievement!

By Justine O'Mahony

I achieved something last week that I never thought I'd achieve. No, I didn't lose weight! Nor did I manage to cook a dinner that everyone liked. I achieved something far more important than that-I only went and passed my driving test!

Obviously my loved ones had even less faith in me than I had in myself because when I rang them to tell them the good news they all had the same reaction-'You. Did. Not?!' their voices full of astonishment. To be fair, I can't really blame them. I'm not known for my motoring skills. In fact people usually brace themselves when they get into the passenger seat with me.

I don't think I'm a bad driver. In fact I'm very careful. I never speed and I know how to use a roundabout which is more than I can say for the majority of bloody motorists out there! But I do talk a lot when I'm driving. And sing. And dance a little bit in my seat which I suppose makes me slightly distracted.

I also have a tendency of beeping the horn and waving at people, a habit my children absolutely abhor. So did my driving instructor who told me in no uncertain terms, after he witnessed me beeping and waving at the postman that if I did it during my test I'd fail.

And to be truthful the test didn't get off to the best start. When the examiner asked me how would I turn on my lights, I was stumped. I turned to him and said, 'I never turn my lights off, I always leave them on.' He started to laugh and said, 'well technically that wasn't the answer I was looking for.' Then he asked me what would two flashing red lights indicate.

'Hazard lights?' I asked hopefully. He shook his head. I wracked my brains. 'An ambulance!' I shouted triumphantly. 'RED lights,' he repeated. I admitted I didn't know. Apparently it's to indicate a train coming at a level crossing. Now what has that got to do with driving?

The same applies to reversing around a corner which I made a right mess of, zig zagging like Lewis Hamilton as I performed the manoeuvre. 'I don't understand why I have to do this, it's not like I'm ever going to reverse around a corner in real life,' I told him. 'You might,' he replied tersely ordering me to do a turnaround-the new term for a three point turn, which I performed perfectly, if I say so myself.

Everything else went smoothly enough but I still couldn't tell if I'd passed. There were a few minor incidents which I'd rather not go into here for fear he'll revoke my certificate of competency but I mirror, signalled and manoeuvred my whole way round.

'I must be getting soft in my old age,' he muttered as he signed it when we returned to the driving centre. 'You mean I actually passed?' He nodded and started to laugh when I jumped up and down with delight.

I beeped my whole way home!

Wexford People

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