The Lead Up To The Irish Driving Test

The Lead Up To The Irish Driving Test

First of​ all let us say categorically, that passing the Driving Test is​ only the beginning of​ your​ driving career irrespective of​ how well you​ do on​ the day of​ the exam. it​ is​ going to​ take the average novice driver maybe three years of​ constant, regular driving, before he or​ she can then say “I am now becoming an​ experienced driver. Please notice the emphasis on​ the word “becoming”. Arrival on​ the Experienced Driver Podium will take much longer. I guess it​ really depends on​ the amount of​ driving one undertakes on​ a​ daily, weekly basis, the level of​ night-time driving, and​ also the traffic conditions during daily sorties will dictate how long this​ learning experience will take. to​ paraphrase Robert Oppenheimer, the inventor of​ the Atomic bomb….. “I am become a​ destroyer of​ worlds” this​ could be applied to​ many learner drivers who pass their Driving Test and​ then proceed to​ total their cars and​ those of​ other drivers in​ the weeks and​ months following the Test.
Passing the Driving Test is​ a​ combination​ of​ basic driving skills, positive attitude, detailed preparation, attention​ to​ detail, practise in​ the general area where Tests are undertaken and​ plenty of​ in-depth Instruction​ by a​ Driving School. The need for​ professional instruction​ cannot be underestimated and​ the insider information​ imparted to​ the pupil by the Instructor will give a​ Test candidate the best possible chance of​ a​ positive result. Many of​ these aspects are ignored by Test candidates and​ we will explore in​ greater detail what will be required throughout the remainder of​ the text. There are numerous details to​ be attended to​ during this​ preparation​ and​ if​ the candidate takes these on​ board with a​ positive focus, a​ good result with ensue.

We will have a​ look at​ the aspects of​ the car that need to​ be checked:-

Tyres……… Tyres need to​ be in​ good condition​ with well above legal limit tread depth and​ with no cuts, splits or​ bulges to​ the sidewall. The tyres with the best treads should always be on​ the front axle and​ this​ is​ something that should be regarded as​ an​ essential part of​ your​ weekly technical check. Tyre pressures should be according to​ the tyre specification​ since incorrectly inflated tyres are not only unsafe but will wear out very quickly and​ give an​ uncomfortable ride.

Lights and​ Indicators……All brake lights and​ indicators should be functioning correctly and​ lenses must be damage –free and​ clean. Its really important to​ carry a​ couple of​ spare bulbs in​ your​ emergency kit for​ last minute replacement since they can blow at​ any time and​ a​ failed brake light or​ indicator will mean that the Test will not be carried out.

Loose Items ……..All loose items in​ the car (and​ who doesn’t have them?) should be removed but rear head rests, if​ fitted, must be retained despite their obstruction​ of​ the rear windscreen. The fad for​ having dangly spiders, furry dice and​ nodding dogs on​ the rear parcel shelf is​ not the way to​ create an​ impression​ with the Driving Examiner and​ block vision​ .in​ fact I always cringe when I see these in​ cars, particularly those that are obviously driven by learner drivers. it​ is​ also a​ particularly dangerous sport to​ be driving as​ a​ learner Driver and​ not displaying L Plates .I am always amazed at​ pupils who turn up for​ pre test lessons in​ their own cars with no L plates .The number of​ excuses would fill the chapter of​ a​ book. It’s a​ sad reflection​ that basic driving laws are flouted continually by learner Drivers but even worse is​ the all too common​ sight of​ Learner Drivers under tuition​ with so called Instructors who actually drive out of​ Test Centres with no L Plates showing. it​ shows a​ disregard for​ the Law and​ the need for​ superb driving skills and​ the need for​ concentration. of​ course mobile phones should be switched off and​ out of​ sight.

Windscreens and​ mirrors…..These should be crack-free and​ clean.

Service …….Its a​ good idea to​ have the Car serviced prior to​ your​ test and​ any technical problems that you​ have been putting off getting fixed should be dealt with .if​ an​ Instrument warning light comes on​ during a​ Test due to​ mechanical problems then the Test will be aborted by the Examiner.

Paperwork……..Insurance disc, Road Tax disc and​ N.C.T. certificate, if​ appropriate need to​ be in​ place and​ readable. if​ any of​ these are faded and​ unreadable the Test will be cancelled .Change of​ ownership of​ vehicles close to​ the Driving Test appointment, leading to​ lack of​ documentation​ for​ whatever reason, will lead to​ the Test being cancelled by the Tester. Nothing other than the original .official documents will be accepted so it’s important not to​ leave anything to​ chance.

Provisional License………..A current Irish provisional license is​ required in​ order to​ sit the Irish Driving Test, Foreign licenses from countries outside the EU will not be accepted .It is​ also worth pointing out that in​ order to​ be issued with a​ Provisional Licence one must first pass the Driver Theory Test. All these aspects take time to​ complete and​ so it’s not something that you​ can accomplish in​ a​ couple of​ days and​ require thought and​ planning .Details of​ the provisional licence and​ theory test requirements can be found on​ the Astral Driving School web site; details at​ the end of​ this​ article .
Perhaps all of​ this​ might seem just another load of​ bureaucracy but it​ indicates the importance and​ the level of​ concern that is​ placed on​ the acquisition​ of​ an​ Irish Driving Licence by the Authorities. European legislation​ continues to​ fuel the changes to​ driving laws and​ there are a​ considerable amount of​ new laws in​ the can which are about to​ be rolled out. We are talking about Speed cameras Nationwide, the full implementation​ of​ the penalty points system, a​ dedicated Garda Traffic Corps, and​ mandatory tuition​ in​ line with most other European Countries. The regulation, examination​ and​ monitoring of​ Driving Instructors is​ another aspect currently about to​ be introduced and​ all of​ the above is​ destined to​ make a​ coordinated improvement to​ our horrific road Traffic accident statistics.

The Driver…. There are occasions when, when on​ the days leading up to​ the Driving Test disaster strikes… a​ change of​ car, a​ mechanical problem which cannot be resolved in​ time, or​ even an​ accident on​ the way to​ the Test. this​ latter happened to​ a​ pupil of​ mine recently, who, while trying to​ circumvent the long Driving Test waiting list by driving half way across the country to​ a​ strange Town, had a​ contretemps with a​ rather large truck. The moral here for​ Irish drivers is​ that it​ is​ not a​ good idea to​ attempt a​ Driving Test, miles away from your​ home location. it​ requires a​ good deal of​ practise and​ familiarisation​ of​ the area and​ test routes close to​ your​ chosen centre to​ give you​ a​ good chance of​ passing first time.
What we are not saying is​ that practise on​ Test Routes will guarantee success nor are we saying that by practising on​ Test Routes till the cows come home will take the place of​ good basic skills and​ professional Driving lessons .It is​ just one of​ the ways that a​ keen learner driver can tip the balance in​ his or​ her favour. Another important tip is​ to​ reconnoitre the general area in​ the few days before the Test and​ again​ on​ the day of​ the Test if​ that’s possible to​ check for​ major road or​ building works which could create a​ difficult situation​ that may not be handled to​ the Examiner’s satisfaction.
in​ Limerick as​ in​ many parts of​ the Country there are significant building, drainage and​ other projects going on​ continually, resulting in​ much road network disruption. in​ fact I have often felt that Limerick was the most dug-up City in​ the Universe. I am sure it’s all necessary and​ we will all benefit in​ the long run. it​ is​ not uncommon​ for​ a​ really excellent pupil who has all the hallmarks of​ becoming a​ courteous and​ skilful driver and​ who is​ deserving of​ Driving Test success to​ fall foul of​ such situations during the Test and​ pick up a​ grade three disqualification. Stray dogs, stray Pedestrians (of​ whom there are many) and​ particularly very young children playing in​ quiet side streets all present very real and​ demanding hazards during the Test.
All of​ the above hazards can be planned for​ and​ an​ in-depth preparation​ for​ the Driving Test covering all the points mentioned will go a​ long way to​ achieving success.
We are going to​ end this​ article as​ we began by stating that passing the Driving Test is​ only the beginning of​ a​ career on​ the road and​ that it​ would be a​ good idea to​ contemplate taking some additional Night-time and​ Motorway lessons before embarking on​ any long journeys or​ adventures. There is​ an​ ever increasing army of​ novice Drivers coming onto the roads here in​ Ireland​ and​ this​ will continue to​ grow in​ line with the population​ increase we are currently experiencing .All new immigrants should regard it​ as​ a​ top priority to​ take professional Driving lessons and​ certainly not leave this​ until a​ couple of​ weeks before the Test appointment.

© Astral School of​ Motoring.2018

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