Join Date: May 2001
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
Driving test rage
PARIS (Reuters) - French driving students may soon have to wait 24 hours before finding out test results because too many candidates are attacking examiners who fail them on the spot.
Some learner drivers who fail their driving test are venting their frustration by threatening examiners with death or rape, often at gunpoint, and attacking their cars, a transport ministry official in charge of driving tests said.
Under the new scheme, already in operation in some areas of France, candidates will have to wait until the end of a 24-hour cooling-off period to be told by post if they can remove their learner plates.
"As well as death and rape threats, and trashing of vehicles, there are physical attacks," Jean-Francois Verdier told Reuters, a week before the first round of a presidential election where crime is a crunch issue.
"Threats at gunpoint are not rare," he added.
Verdier said candidates, some of whom had failed their test for the tenth time, often rounded up friends to attack examiners and their cars.
"Some, frustrated by their failure, burst tires or smash car windows," Verdier said.
About 10 percent of France has been testing the scheme for the past year and the Transport Ministry will decide whether to introduce it across the whole country in September.
Examiners reported a fall in violent incidents in the areas where the scheme was introduced, with 79 in 2001 compared to 96 cases in 2000.
France fails more than two-thirds of the 3.5 million learners who take their test each year.
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.