Имах си българска шофьорска книжка, но там застрахователните компании съдираха още пет кожи заради липсата на местна 'пълноправна' книжка. Добре обработена машина за събиране на пари, имаше една тънка дупка през която трябваше да се промушиш за да станеш от ' временен' или ' условен ' в пълноправен шофьор и това беше шофьорският изпит ( DT или Driver's test както е в текста). В същност този ритуал изискваше точна последователност от действия, които изпитващия седеше невъзмутимо от страни си драскаше в тефтерчето. То си беше направо нещо като нервен тик да въртиш глава във всички посоки, гледаш последователно в огледалата... Спирането също беше 'tricky stuff' ' трябваше да се спира на трета скорост ( почти до загасване на мотора), след което ръчната спирачка беше абсолютно задължителна. Играх го този театър на DT няколко пъти, след което седнах и написах тази писанинка, която с удоволствие раздавах на изпитващите и с още по - голямо удоволствие им гледах смаяните физиономии. Никой обаче не протестира, включително и колегите, които го прочетоха ме гледаха като някакъв месия.
I passed the Drivers test ( DT ) in Russia in 1974. For my 35 years of driving experience I have got plenty of bad habits that helped me to survive without any accidents and to fail three times on Irish DT.
Coming here to Ireland I was surprised from:
- And their lack of knowledge about cars. Normally nobody seems to know what is placed under the bonnet or under the body of the car. Even my friend, engineer, didn’t know what is the difference between two stroke and four-stroke petrol engine. Of course you don’t have to know how the TV set is working, but putting your life in that box on four wheels..? How can you drive a car if a fault occurs when moving – combined with the driver’s level of knowledge and then pairing the car and driver together then it becomes totally unpredictable?
- Driving a car on a motorway half of my attention is on the driver behind me. A friend of mine said that he normally drives five cars – the one in front, in the rear, on the left, on the right and his own. Here in Ireland the practice is – don’t care about the driver behind you – that’s why here very often you could get angry with absentminded drivers, occupying the right lane on a motorway and moving at a speed less than permitted.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
In Ireland drivers could be classified as follows – FULL drivers and HALF drivers. Self confidence of first group is the same as lottery winners; second group are ‘second hand people’. Strange is that plenty of FULL drivers haven’t pass DT at all and most of them would fail on DT. HALF drivers are allowed to drive, but what could you expect from persons with self-confidence – HALF. And very often this HALF is for life. If there are drivers, there must be only two categories – driver or not driver, fully responsible and totally irresponsible. I think – if I’m HALF driver, I’ve to be HALF responsible. Also think that, for example, five years driving experience is totally enough to build up good habits for driving (often called bad habits’) and be recognized as normal drivers. It’s useless and harmful for them to attend to DT – they will fail.
DRIVER’S TEST *
- It is common knowledge that more than 80 percent of all attendants to DT will fail, regardless his experience and practice.
- Practice (the best teacher) shows, that everybody steers his car as best as he can and as he get used to do this. I’m suggesting to you look around you – as you are waiting at a green pedestrian light on crossroad, watch carefully the drivers hands of those turning left or right. Nearly all drivers ‘crossed’ their hands, but it’s OK – the cars are moving slowly on curves. I’m sorry for those that follow suggested manner – it’s a hard exercise to make a smooth turn. So, if ‘crossing hands’ is so important for testers, quite normal is if be punished the same way as speeding, belts ... from traffic corps if you are caught on the spot. It will be a great income to the revenue of the country!
- In my country every winter there is plenty of snow and ice on the roads and I know the ‘golden rules’ – no coasting, all the time in gear... normally I feel myself as an elephant in glass factory. And I can’t explain to myself – why the tester demands the same manner of driving, when outside is sunny and dry. The only reason is to teach people how to drive in those terrible conditions, but the DT itself is not a place for teaching. I drive the car according to the current road conditions; I can’t imagine others, inspired from driver’s test.
- The atmosphere of DT is very similar to ‘Who wants to be millionaire’ – the same tension at the end when the final result is announced. It is very strange to be there with no instructor and the feeling, that you are 5 year boy, passing test how to behave yourself around the table, how to eat, not to take wrong spoon, not to talk to the elders, be silent and many, many other things, simply understanding the depth of your lack of knowledge.
My BAD HABITS
- I used to drive my own car. It’s a part of my family and I have to take care of it. Why should I drive it like somebody else’s? Demanded a good manner of driving – all the time in gear, not coasting, etc. needless damage gearbox, clutch, transmission, exhaust pipes, etc..
- Be in gear all the time significantly increases fuel consumption and environmental pollution.
- Regarding principles of optimal movement the cycle is – accelerating (minimum time or optimal engine regime), coasting (the main important phase of energy saving) and braking. Coasting is the perfect time to save energy – especially driving downhill. If there is a need of keeping constant speed, it has to be substituted by sequences accelerating – coasting. Actually the cars fitted with automatic gears do the same with a little help from the driver.
- Keeping the optimal movement curve leads to energy savings between 12,5 and 40 % - the same concerns and pollution!
- There is NO excuse with SAFETY to insist ‘no coasting’ – even it is worst of both possibilities – the driver normally underestimates the road condition when its wet and has a false illusion that the car is still stable on the road as it used to be in good conditions.
- When it’s wet, frequently to ‘dry’ brakes, gently applying them on motion.
- I’m not going to drive my car if something is missing – i.e. first aid kit, toolbox, towing rope, hi visibility jacket, foot pump and bottle of water .... which is NOT compulsory here. There was a funny story in Dublin recently – a man was nearly jailed, because Garda (Police) find a screwdriver in his car!
That’s it! Have a nice trip!
First edition 02/02
Last edition 02/11