Driving test latest to be hit by the ‘dumbing down’ effect

From: Judith Kay, Oaks Green Mount, Rastrick, Brighouse.

READING about the proposed changes to the driving test, I see that, once again, the “dumbing down” effect rules.

My husband is an experienced driver of 50 years. He never reverses out of a parking spot, he reverses into one, saying that this manoeuvre gives far more control.

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He learned this from his father, and both our sons do it. They agree that it is by far the better and safer way. Use of side mirrors is an essential lesson to learn.

He also deplores the way that drivers are now taught to go down hills using their brakes, which can fail, rather than using the gears, which gives engine braking, far safer.

Surely the three-point-turn and reversing around a corner are tests of control of the car? They may well be rarely used in day-to-day driving, but do indicate how much the driver controls the car and not the other way round.

Satnav use may have to be taught as they are almost a driving necessity these days. My worry is that there are so many buttons to press and functions to perform in a car nowadays that there is a danger of being distracted from watching the road.

From: MJ Day, Greetland, Halifax.

I DON’T write to The Yorkshire Post very often because there are not many subjects which I consider myself qualified to comment on. However, the recent two letters from Roger Dobson (The Yorkshire Post, November 27) and Norma McNicohol (The Yorkshire Post, December 1) regards general driving techniques have proved the exception.

I agree with the majority of the comments made by them recently, particularly with signalling and driving care, but am surprised by their failure to understand the use of dipped headlights in clear weather conditions.

Having driven all my life 
(like them, for the last 50 
years or so) as an international service engineer, many 
times in two or more countries in the same week, I consider 
dipped headlights in all conditions to be essential, and is the law in many countries including Sweden,and most states of the USA.

The reason is quite simple. 
It is easier to see a car with headlights on, particularly
if it is coming at you out of 
the sun, which at this time 
of the year with the sun low on the horizon is a common situation.