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Archive August 2007
Thursday 9 August 2007
Gah, the UK driving test theory component is full of incredibly stupid questions. Not stupid in the sense of "that is very obvious" (well, yes, okay, also that sort of stupid), but stupid in the sense of requiring rote-memorised information that is entirely useless in every way to a driver. Some examples:
What is the most common cause of skidding? Driver error. Oh really, is it? Well thank goodness I know that, now I not not to make an error, if I don't want to skid! That'll no doubt save my life. I was totally intending on driving with as many errors as I could, too.

Which three types of vehicle may have a flashing blue light? Bomb disposal, blood transfusion, police. Why do I care, as a driver? All I need to know is that it means "get out of the way".

What sort of vehicle has a flashing green light? Oh fuck off, that pretty much just means get out of the way as well, only a bit less urgently. At least I assume it does. It means it's a doctor, but I don't actually know what it means to me as a driver because the test doesn't care if I know what to do, so long as I know it's a doctor.

What is the difference between a toucan crossing and other sorts of crossing? Cyclists can also cross at toucan crossings. As a driver, I would RUN OVER any cyclist trying to use some other sort of crossing, so it is important that I know which one is a toucan crossing. Not that I actually would be able to tell the difference because the test doesn't care if I can recognise a toucan crossing, so long as I know cyclists are allowed to use it.

A police officer asks to see your documents. You do not have them with you. You may produce them at a police station within: 7 days. I don't know, but I'm sure the police officer would give me a piece of paper which would tell me, so also I don't need to know. But now I have crammed this useless knowledge into my brain for test-taking purposes.

Someone has been burned in an accident. What is the shortest time the burn should be cooled for? 10 minutes I don't know, this is a driving test not an emergency medicine test, and even if I did know, my imaginary car doesn't have any ice in it so I wouldn't be able to do as required. What am I supposed to do, siphon coolant out of the engine? IT WILL BE HOT, IDIOT.
And a fantastic example of the "very obvious" sort of stupid - not that the answer is particularly obvious, but that the answer you're supposed to say is obvious:
A driver's behaviour has upset you. It may help if you: 1. follow their car, flashing your headlights. 2. gesture to them with your hand. 3. shout abusive language. 4. stop and take a break.
Obviously this is a trick question with a write-in answer, "perform a PIT maneuver to force them to a stop, pick up your baseball bat, exit your vehicle and smash their face in."
Anyway, the point being, I passed the theory test easily and now should arrange the rest of driving practice and test at some point. And no, this doesn't mean I'm much younger than you thought, it just means I've mostly lived in circumstances where driving is more expensive than practical. I still do, but driving tests are scheduled to become even more stupid, so now it's worth getting it out of the way in case I'm ever in circumstances where it's worth it, or in case of long road trips with tired drivers. [14:58] [4 comments]