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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Why Driving For Life is more important than The Driving Test.

Any one who has read any of my posts to the Astral Blog or any of my articles may be forgiven in thinking that I am a stuffy "aul fella". Old I may be ....fifty something .....soon to be sixty something.....However there is one great benefit in reaching elder statesman status...that of experience and hopefully Wisdom .
Think of the Television ad and the "Wrinkly Ninja". well I can tell you that getting old can be a rewarding time of your life because it's a time when you can give something back and help a new generation just as you yourself were helped and advised by your peers .
This is what I am attempting to do in my profession as my writing is expanded to reach hopefully far and wide in the not too distant future. Reaching far and wide is an aspiration that brings rewards.We have had pupils who have flown from several thousand miles away to take tuition from us so we are not exactly without wisdom !
Here's a brief precis of an earlier article relating to the waiting times for a Driving Test here in Ireland.

Driving for life means that you should take the whole process of learning to Drive seriously and spend whatever time and money it takes to reach an acceptable standard before attempting the Driving Test.The Driving Test is only a basic standard and still not close to European Levels but it is improving steadily,thankfully.
The focus on a Driving Test instead of learning more advanced skills in the early stages is a recipe for disaster, sooner rather than later.Following on from yesterdays mention, a recent pupil turned her car over into a ditch primarily because she had not taken sufficient tuition before venturing out on her own.The car was just three weeks old and was a write-off.Learning to drive is a lengthy process if you want to attain safe skills.If you want to write off your car in double quick time then don,t bother with Lessons.
While Eddy Hobbs may have a good point in blaming the Government for all our ills , the government is not totally at fault when it comes to waiting a year for a Driving Test.. Here's why ......
(1) Generally a large proportion of test candidates are just not up to it.They haven't taken the whole thing seriously enough and have not prepared adequately.How can you not take a Driving Test seriously ?. It's not only your life that's at stake but all the other Road users as well!
(2) A few hours with a Driving School a couple of weeks before a Test does not constitute "Adequate"
(3) A high proportion of Test Candidates just don't turn up.Recently in Limerick, four of an Examiner's first six candidates one day, failed to show.So that means that they are still on the waiting list; but worst of all, four fresh candidates on the cancellation list lost an opportunity to do their Test.
(4) There is a high percentage of cancellations, about 10 or 12 %. of course some of these will be genuine and others will be not.
(5) There are still a number of Cars that are being turned down on the day due to not being at the correct Departmental Standard, which means not safe in some instances, and paperwork not acceptable in others.
(6) Our Unique Demographics here in Ireland; with a huge population under twenty five years of age, together with increasing immigrant numbers make the existing resources of the Driving Test Department not appropriate .This is one area where the Government got caught out by underestimating the flood of non-nationals settling in Ireland over the last couple of years. This trend is set to continue, to add to the returning Ex-Pats over the last while during Celtic Tiger One.
Just for the record there are approximately 350,000 Learner Drivers on the road ..that's one in five cars! and as we speak just 120 Examiners nationwide.

That's it for today . Drive Safely

Astral Driving School

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