Happy Birthday, Driving Test! 英国驾驶考试
The Test is More Expensive and Complex than Ever 英国考驾照有史以来最贵最复杂
For 75 years, three words have dominated the lives of many young Brits. They are: mirror, signal, manoeuvre.
These are the processes all drivers should perform when they make a turn, go round a roundabout or overtake a vehicle. Learners hoping to pass their driving test need to prove that they understand the importance of these actions before they can throw out their L plates and head for the highway.
This summer the British driving test celebrates its seventy-fifth birthday. It's often described as one of the most frightening tests we face.
It is an ordeal that doesn't come very cheap nowadays. Taking the test in 1935 cost just 37.5 pence (4 yuan); now candidates can expect to pay £93 (989 yuan).
The test is also harder than ever. In 1935, the pass rate was 63%; now it's 43%. In recent years, the DSA – the organisation that oversees the driving test – has looked for ways to assess different aspects of what makes a good driver.
In 1996, the three-point turns, hill starts and dreaded parallel parking exercises of the practical test were supplemented by a theory paper. This test quizzes candidates on different aspects of the Highway Code and hazard perception.
Now the DSA has announced another change. Candidates will drive for ten minutes without detailed instructions from the examiner. DSA's chief driving examiner Trevor Wedge said the aim was to measure a candidate's "ability to drive safely while making decisions independently".
However, drivers will not be penalised for getting lost. "It's not a test of navigation and candidates won't be failed for going off route," Mr Wedge said.
No doubt there will still be whingers. The BBC has learnt that in 2009 there were 1,889 complaints about examiners, of which just 51 were upheld.
Complaints that were rejected included "Candidate crashed during test - claims examiner distracted" and "[Candidate] says examiner took her on busy roads during rush hour, which was unfair".
Someone else seemingly failed to understand the nature of an emergency stop when the complaint was filed that an "emergency stop was conducted 'without warning'".
Glossary 词汇表 (收听发音, 请单击英语单词)
- to signal 打灯 （开车时打出信号）
- roundabout 环岛，环形交叉路口
- to overtake超车
- L plates见习驾驶员牌照
- to head for somewhere朝... 进发
- three-point turn（汽车的）三点转向
- hill start半坡起步
- parallel parking平行泊车