Driving test experiences

Below is an article written by one of our members, who has a dyslexic son.

My son started learning to drive a couple of years ago. Last summer the instructor finally felt that he was ready to take his test.The day of the test was a hot, bright summer’s day when the pollen count was at it’s highest level. With streaming eyes and a bag full of nerves, my son set off to the Test Centre.About 10 minutes into the start of the test, I got a phone call. He had failed the first part of the driving test almost before he started! This involved reading number plates, so sadly he had not even had chance to attempt the practical part of the test.Despite the Optician’s report stating that his eye-sight was definitely within the legal requirements for driving, his license was immediately revoked. We had to put together an appeal with supporting documents from the Optician, Doctor and Driving Instructor. These reports were then reviewed by the DVLA and then a few months later an appointment arrived to attend the Test Centre to re-take the number plate test.We decided that although the hay fever season had now passed, it would be a good idea to go out and practice reading some number plates before taking the test. It quickly became evident that some of the letters were particularly difficult to read. Letters such as M,W and N were easily being mixed up especially from a distance. We decided that a good way to remember was that M had peaks like a Mountain, W had troughs like Waves and the N had Neither.The letter O also could look like a D, but the D has two tails.
Following some re-training on the reading of fonts, we went to the test centre and he passed the eye-sight test.I had contacted the Manager at the test centre before we arrived and she was very helpful. We were allowed to have the 20 metres measured out exactly with a tape measure and also to read a yellow number plate as opposed to white. He was also allowed to write the letters down on a piece of paper.The Manager also explained about other concessions that are made for dyslexics during the practical driving section of the test. Further details on this can be found on the following website:
https://www.gov.uk/practical-driving-test-for-cars  (section 9-Special needs)

For other helpful tips on taking your test, visit the BDA website:



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