King’s Lynn, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via TANVEER MANN and Metro.co.uk
A British man has probably set the world record for quickest time in flunking a driving test after failing it five seconds in, reported the Metro newspaper yesterday.
Craig Barraza, aged 33, originally from Portlethen in Aberdeenshire but now living in Norfolk, crashed out of his driving test after pulling out of the centre of the wrong side of the road, according to Metro. The hapless learner told the paper he had a ‘complete mind blank’ once he got behind the wheel and largely forgot everything the driving instructor had taught him over his lengthy and expensive preparation lessons.
Barraza, who appeared for his exam at the King’s Lynn test centre, immediately pulled out and began driving down the wrong side of the road. Vehicles in the UK drive on the left. His error was so obvious that even the examiner who was in the front passenger seat with him at the time exclaimed “You do realise you’re on the wrong side of the road?”.
Despite immediately failing his test, Barraza still had to continue driving for another forty minutes, where it is alleged he actually drove so well that he would have passed had it not been for the ghastly error he made at first. The examiner, and Barraza’s driving instructor, Steve Fletcher, said that it was the worst blunder they had seen in 50 years of instruction.
Barraza, who is employed as an operative on a wind energy farm, is said to have spent £1,000 in total on forty lessons with Fletcher, as well as the multiple-choice question ‘theory test’ that all new British drivers are required to sit in addition to the practical.
He said: “I was only just leaving the centre to get out. We were literally just five seconds into it. I was approaching the junction to exit it and I had an absolute mind blank, questioning in my head: ‘What side of the road do we drive on?”
‘I had a 50/50 chance, and I chose to exit it in the right lane. Instant fail. Had I not been so stupid I’d have breezed through.’
‘My examiner with 20 years experience, and my instructor with 30 years both said they have never witnessed anything like it in their careers. I hadn’t even left the test centre car park.”
He added: “I’ve avoided driving because when I was 17 I stalled at a roundabout which just completely put me off. But I was more confident now.
‘I think it’s when you get older you get a bit wiser but that’s rich coming from me after failing like that. I’ve lived in the UK my whole life so there’s no excuse for not driving on the left.
‘Honestly, who fails a test quicker than that? I didn’t even get to the junction.”
Despite his huge messup, Barraza has received supportive messages from his friends after posting about the calamity on social media, however it is not mentioned if he will retake his test.
Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/
“Guy fails driving test in just five seconds after pulling out of centre on wrong side of road” – Tanveer Mann, Metro – News – UK/Associated Newspapers Limited (4 February 2017) http://metro.co.uk/2017/02/04/guy-fails-driving-test-in-just-five-seconds-after-pulling-out-of-centre-on-wrong-side-of-road-6426532/?ito=facebook
“Jan 9 : The Driving Lesson” – Dawn Sajn, Flickr (9 January 2012) https://www.flickr.com/photos/dawnps/6664634135/
A little amusing joke to kick off your Sunday.
Tintu-Mon, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/mrtintumon/?fref=photo
VIJAY SHAH via Montreal Gazette and ReportCA.net
Residents in most parts of Canada are being notified that they will need to change their clocks an hour forward as much of the country switches from standard time to daylight saving time this weekend, meaning they will technically lose an hour of sleep, the Montreal Gazette reports via ReportCA.net.
The time change kicked in on yesterday night towards this morning and those who have not yet made the change are being encouraged to reset their watches and clocks to avoid arriving an hour late for work tomorrow, the Gazette advises.
While most Canadian provinces such as Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia, which operate on different timezones anyway, will observe daylight savings time, this does not apply to every part of Canada. The province of Sasketchewan remains on Central Standard Time year-round. Other regions that will not be changing their clocks are a part of north-east British Columbia, as well as that province’s East Kootenay region; three villages in the Central Time Zone covering north-west Ontario, the eastern tip of Quebec and Southampton Island in the northern Arctic province of Nunavut.
Everyone outside those areas will be observing DST until it finishes on November 6, 2016, in which case they will return their clocks an hour back to winter time.
The Montreal Gazette is also warning drivers to take extra care on roads over fears that the lost hour of sleep will impair their motoring ability on Canada’s highways. The newspaper cited a 1996 study in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed car accidents shot up by 8 per cent on the first Monday after the clocks change.
HEM News Agency, The Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-news-agency
Report 24 Canada, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Report24CA
“Don”t forget to set clocks ahead an hour tonight and drive carefully Monday” – Montreal Gazette via ReportCA.net – Canada (13 March 2016) http://reportca.net/2016/03/dont-forget-to-set-clocks-ahead-an-hour-tonight-and-drive-carefully-monday/
Getty Images via Zemanta.
You have got your suit dry-cleaned and freshly pressed, your crisp white shirt is the bee’s knees and your Marks & Sparks tie is the right shade of blue. You know you will get that interview. The weather’s not so enthusiastic though. It is raining quite heavily, but not enough to dampen your get-up-and-go spirit. You step out the front door, umbrella in hand. You turn into the main road, trying your best to dodge the assorted puddles rapidly forming on the pavement as you walk down towards the rail station.
As you blissfully daydream of becoming the hottest sales executive at Jerry’s Printers Ltd ever, you fail to notice the massive lake of rainwater lying in wait just beyond the kerb. You also fail to notice the green van being driven at speed, careering towards the giant puddle. VROOOOMMMMSPLLLLAAAASHHHH!!. A wall of dirty water that a surfer would sweat over rises suddenly from the van’s tyres and soaks you from head-to-toe. Your white shirt is now halfway between brown and grey. Your suit weighs a lot more than it used to. Your trousers sag. Panic ensues. There’s no way you can show up for the 9:45 like this. You call up ahead to cancel. Your mobile, having born the brunt of the dripping onslaught, does not switch on….Goodbye company car and gold-plated pension.
As any unfortunate pedestrian caught between tarmac and a wet place will tell you, being soaked in puddle juice by white-van man or the No. 69 bus from Leyton is no joke. It’s cold, miserable, and frankly a little scary, not to mention embarrassing. It has long been a scourge of cold wintery days, where inconsiderate or oblivious drivers almost get a sick psychotic pleasure out of doing a drive-by drenching on some poor sods at the bus stop. This article’s author has had his fair share of near misses. The soaked clothing, the shower of expletives, the raised fist defiantly shaken at the knob who had just turned him into a drowned sewer rat. Those memories will be forever etched in his Half-Eaten Mind until the last breath.
Drivers who soak-and-run don’t always escape scot-free. In 2009, a Plymouth, Devon motorist who deliberately targeted a group of school children for a early morning shower was dragged to court. The 29-year-old, who even filmed the hydro-carnage from a camera on her dashboard, was cited for careless driving.
Devon schoolkid soaking (see the video here, courtesy Sky News)
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police told Sky News Online: “Deliberately splashing people by driving through a big puddle could mean that the motorist was driving without reasonable consideration for other road users.
“There is also the real danger that by driving through standing water this could cause the driver of the vehicle to lose control and could result in a road traffic collision.
“People involved in this practice could find themselves prosecuted and points put on their licence.”
Driving through a puddle to splash bystanders is an offence of “careless, and inconsiderate, driving” under the Road Traffic Act section 3 and carries a fine of up to £2,500. (Sky News Online – 14/10/2009)
A man in nearby Yeovil was fined £150 and awarded three penalty points on his licence after running through a puddle and splashing some nearby road workers, who subsequently reported him.
So how do those puddles get there to cause that kind of nuisance in the first place. In most developed countries, roads are essentially strips of asphalt/tarmac which are designed to be waterproof to prevent the road surface from deteriorating. As most road surfaces are curved concavely to enable moisture runoff, the rain as it lands is sent by gravity to accumulate between the road itself and the kerb. Likelihoods of puddles increase if the drains that take away the excess water are blocked. It would be easy to suggest lining every pedestrianised road, street and lane in the UK or anywhere else with some kind of super-absorbent sponge. Unlikely, though, as it would be a frightful expense for councils to cover.
Interestingly enough, Britain’s oldest puddle still in service is in the Oxfordshire town of Wallingford. Since April of 1976, this hardy specimen sits at the junction of Fir Tree Avenue and Wantage Road. Thanks to county border disputes, political apathy and a poorly-maintained highway, the puddle’s longevity has entered it into local folklore. The residents of Wallingford, who once pleaded with local politicians to have it removed, now consider it a peculiar tourist attraction and it is even now the starting point for a local pub crawl, the Wally Run. There is no tradition however of any Ford Fiestas or Nissan Jukes using the Wally puddle for a slip-and-slide. Or a re-enactment of “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”…
Unfortunately for any foot-based road user, massive puddles are a fact of life. When it rains and pours down buckets , they will come. And there will always be unhinged thrill-seekers on four wheels. Some advice from the Half-Eaten Mind: keep an eye out for the big ‘uns, keep the other eye on oncoming traffic and walk as close to the shopfronts as you can!.