A brief his­tory

Top Gear (Malaysia) - - Contents -

1899 France in­tro­duces the world’s first manda­tory driv­ing test. Can­di­dates must demon­strate skills in­clud­ing ‘non­cha­lantly bump­park­ing into a space half the length of the car’ and ‘shrug­ging wryly at the fu­til­ity of ex­is­tence’.

1903 Driv­ing li­cences are in­tro­duced in Bri­tain. To ob­tain a li­cence, can­di­dates are not re­quired to take a test, but sim­ply hand over the equiv­a­lent of £25 to a lo­cal of­fi­cial. This sys­tem re­mains in place in parts of West Corn­wall to­day.

1931 The first edi­tion of the High­way Code is printed. In the sub­se­quent 80 years, no one will suc­ceed in read­ing more than four pages with­out fall­ing asleep.

1935 Driv­ing tests be­come com­pul­sory across Bri­tain. Can­di­dates must demon­strate skills in­clud­ing ‘com­plain­ing about how bad the roads have got this year’ and ‘al­most im­per­cep­ti­ble sin­gle-fin­ger wave of ap­pre­ci­a­tion to fel­low mo­torists’.

1936 Driver test­ing be­comes wide­spread in the USA. Amer­i­cans threaten re­volt as some namby-pamby states for­bid un­der-11s from ac­quir­ing HGV li­cences.

1959 Bri­tain’s first driv­ing ex­am­iner train­ing fa­cil­ity opens in Mid­dle­sex, aim­ing to stan­dard­ise the ex­am­i­na­tion pro­ce­dure.

Un­til this point, ex­am­in­ers have mainly passed can­di­dates for

‘hav­ing in­flu­en­tial par­ents’ or ‘smelling lovely’.

1965 The eye­sight com­po­nent of the driv­ing test is in­tro­duced, re­quir­ing can­di­dates to read a num­ber plate from a dis­tance of 67 feet. Bri­tain quickly re­alises no one has any idea how far 67 feet ac­tu­ally is.

1975 Hand sig­nals are dropped from the UK driv­ing test, af­ter ‘wide­spread use of non-sanc­tioned ges­tures’.

1996 The UK in­tro­duces a sep­a­rate the­ory test, for some rea­son us­ing brak­ing dis­tance cal­cu­la­tions from the early 1870s.

2000 The­ory test moves from pen-and-pa­per to a touch­screen com­puter.

2001 Af­ter a suc­ces­sion of ter­ri­ble ac­ci­dents, ex­am­in­ers de­cide it may be safer to sit­u­ate the touch­screen com­puter in an of­fice rather than on the car’s dash­board.

2017 The re­quire­ment to re­verse around a corner is dropped from the UK test, af­ter ex­am­in­ers re­alise no one has ever needed to re­verse around a corner in the his­tory of driv­ing.

2018 Saudi Ara­bia per­mits women to hold driv­ing li­cences.

Yep, 2018. Not a typo. Sheesh.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.