I learned to drive in a fairly rural area, where the biggest hazard is ponies dozing in the shade under a railway bridge (or Highland cattle wandering out into the road without looking). Whilst it does mean I know what to do when I encounter police horses, and it’s fairly good training for dopey pedestrians on Oxford Street, it possibly wasn’t the best training for the rough-and-tumble of a 10-mile commute into London each day. I passed my test fifteen years ago. I haven’t driven since I moved to London 12 years ago, and yet I still have a full driving license. It’s a paper one. It’s still got my parents’ address on it.
There is nothing in law that says I must have some refresher lessons, or a take another driving test. I could (if I had the money), pop into the Porsche showroom down the road, give the salesman the heebie-jeebies when he realised what an awful driver I was, buy a ridiculously over-powered car and drive it straight onto the Bow Interchange. I’m not even sure if my lack of driving experience would be picked up by my new insurers. Are there questions that pick up that a new customer hasn’t driven for a stupidly long time, and should be contacted for further information?
If I found myself in a situation where I had to drive in London, after the obligatory scream of “I don’t wanna and you can’t make me!” I would take lessons, but you don’t have to, and, sadly, there are people who won’t do the common-sense thing unless it has the force of the law and associated sanctions behind it.
Isn’t that a bit mad?