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How would you update the written driver's test?

Think you'd pass the written drivers test if you had to take it today? Chances are, you'd fail like just like Tommy Hear it right here!

We think it's high time to update the age-old exam. What do you think should be on the written test?

Questions that show the taker’s knowledge about the state’s traffic laws. But that’s what was on my test 40 years ago in a different state.

The written test is all true/false, multiple choice, and matching in my state, so any good test taker can pass it. I do, however, think the behind the wheel part should cover more than it does. There is practically no skill involved in driving around the block, parking next to a curb, backing out of an alley, and pulling into a parking space in the DMV parking lot. This puts a lot of highly unskilled, licensed drivers on the road, which can certainly be dangerous or at least frustrating to other drivers.

My best driver license test story is: I’m at a small NC DL office in the early 1980s with about 20 other people, taking a test to renew our licenses. At the front of the room, an officer is checking the tests and telling folks whether or not they passed.

He calls out a name and an elderly country-looking fellow responds. The checker says, “I’m sorry, you failed by one wrong answer. Actually it’s a question you didn’t circle any answer. You want to try that question again?”

Test taker: " I didn’t answer that one because the correct answer is not one of the choices."

Checker: “You have to choose one of the three answers on the test.”

Test taker: " That’s ridiculous. Anybody that’s been driving as long as I have knows that the most dangerous vehicle on the road is a pulp-wood truck coming down the road side-ways. That’s not one of the answers."

The checker looked at the man for a long minute, then circled something on the test paper and said, “Congratulations, sir, you passed the test!” Everybody in the room cheered.

So here’s my question:

What’s the most dangerous vehicle on the road?

A. An automobile with slick tires on a rainy day.

B. A pickup truck pulling a heavy trailer that does not have trailer brakes.

C. A pulp-wood truck coming down the road sideways.

A Volkswagen Jetta with a texting soccer mom behind the wheel.

I passed it and like the majority, I am a better driver than average.

I like the (Allstate??) commercial with the guy in the drivers seat, and all the gadgets doing things to him…feeding him, putting lipstick on him, holding a cellphone to his head, and a few other bizarre things we see on the road every day.

A written test is all well and good, and even a driving test is OK, but if the cops don’t enforce the laws, it’s a moot point. Take whatever test you like, if people don’t follow the rules, it’s all just face time. I know we all see it, every time we drive.

Some of the best drivers I know are old enough to remember when cars had no gadgets, they didn’t own a cell phone, refuse to talk on it (or even look at it) while driving, and actually have a tad of consideration for the other drivers on the road. They also realize that inside every one of those cars is a person, and they’re not just mad at “that dam*&d (insert make here)”.

Oh, wait…that’s me. :slight_smile: lol

Edit: For your test…dadoctah has the answer. :slight_smile: Except, maybe, I’d go with teen, instead of soccer mom, but not much different.

Top Gear did a segment where they mentioned Finland’s licensing program where they have to go through several things before they’re given full licenses.

Driving tests written and live can only test your knowledge of the laws, your knowledga of how the vehicle works, and your ability to control the vehicle.

The overwhelming majority of accidents are either because one driver was not paying attention or one driver was impaired.

You cannot test for paying attention. But once a driver is found to be impaired, with a DUI or as a result of an accident, every subsequent event becomes partly the responsibility of a system that refuses to get serious and remove the drivers’ vehicles (combined with some jail time). I’ve said again and again, and I truely believe, that until we start impounding their vehicles (confiscate upon conviction, return if indicted) then they’ll continue to drive impaired.

The problem is not weaknesses in the testing systems. The problem is tolerance of serious driving offenses. And it isn’t the cops’ faults. They do the best they can. The rest of the system has broken down.

Isn’t there some website in one state that shows the names of every person who has 5 DUIs or more listed? I also believe there are people out there with 20+ DUIs still allowed to drive

1st DUI: ok, maybe you messed up, night in the drunk tank, $500 fine and license suspended for a month. work privileges negotiable
2nd DUI: night in the drunk tank, $1500 fine, license suspended for 6 months
3rd DUI: night in drunk tank, $5000 fine, license suspended permanently
DUI 4+: do not pass go, do not collect $200. 5 year jail time and $10,000 fine(or the cop has a right to pretend you’re Rodney King)

any DUI involving a crash will automatically lead to 3rd DUI fines.

I've said again and again, and I truely believe, that until we start impounding their vehicles (confiscate upon conviction, return if indicted) then they'll continue to drive impaired.
Well, an indictment would have to come before a conviction, so that doesn't seem to make sense. And in most states, a DUI is a summary offense, not an indictable offense. It's usually prosecuted by a complaint, or information, filed by the prosecutor's office. A DUI is a pretty common crime; it would be a waste of time and money to convene a grand jury for an indictment hearing for every DUI (or any other misdemeanors).

“until we start impounding their vehicles (confiscate upon conviction, return if indicted)”

Sell my car after arrest, buy it back after conviction.

There are career DRUNKS on the roads today. Some 20 years ago in NH we had a guy go to jail (finally) for 12+ DUI’s and two deaths. And the laws haven’t changed much since then…

It’s obvious that MONEY isn’t stopping these drunks…After a DUI you can expect to spend THOUSANDS in increased insurance costs and legal fees. DUI laws have to be much much stiffer.

As for taking the car away…might work…until he borrows his wifes car…

First DUI - $500 fine…License suspended 3 months.
Second DUI - $1500 fine…1 year in prison.

And I don’t think that’s too harsh. People are really going to start thinking about that second DUI…

Guys, I goofed. I meant “return if acquitted”.

Mea Culpa.

Mike, once his car and his wife’s car are both confiscated he’d run out of cars. I doubt if many friends would loan their buddy a vehicle if they knew it might end up confiscated.

I strongly agree with the fines, suspension, and jail time. My suggestion is in addition to those, not in lieu of those. IMHO letting a DUI have his car back is analogous to giving a mugger his gun back. Or returning a violent criminal’s gun to him when he’s released on parole. The violent criminal gets the jail time AND loses his gun.

Q: When is the proper time to use your automobiles’ Turn Signals?

  1. When wishing to signal other drivers of your intention to make a turn.
    3.Never, With Prejudice.

I would put more pictures/cartoons/photos etc on the written test and have questions asking examinees what they would do in the given situations. People can memorize test questions and answers, but people don’t know how to react to situations. People don’t seem to know how to approach certain traffic control devices such as center turn lanes, multiple turn lanes, and traffic circles. They don’t always get tested on what to do during the road test. And they don’t seem to know how to place their vehicles when approaching something that’s new to them.