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Reality Driving Programmes – Help or Hindrance to Young Motorists?

Book Theory Test Today blogger, astounded by BBC Three’s ‘Barely Legal Drivers’ reality driving programme, offers an opinion on reality driving shows. 

The Book Theory Test Today blogger says: “If you’re 18, or younger, you may not remember ‘Driving School’, which followed the driving exploits of learner driver, Maureen Rees back in the 1990s. She failed the theory test numerous times, before going on to fail the practical driving exam 20 something times. It made for hilarious viewing.”

Anyway, ‘Driving School’ offered a very different type of viewing experience to that which I experienced on Tuesday 19th August 2014. I don’t know why, but I tuned into Barely Legal Drivers on BBC Three. By the end of it I was stunned!!!

If you’re in the demographic aged 18-25, chances are you’ve seen this programme. If you haven’t, let me give you a quick snapshot. The programme follows the driving behaviour of two new, young motorists who have passed their theory test and practical exam, but haven’t driven for a while. 

They are given a car for a week by their family, which is fitted with cameras and a telemetric system to monitor their speed. They then embark on three journeys, which are recorded, watched by family members and assessed by a retired police traffic officer and a top driving tutor.

After the three journeys the retired police traffic officer decides whether the two individuals would benefit from more driving lessons or their very own second hand car. It’s worth noting though that the drivers are blissfully unaware that their driving is being monitored. They are led to believe that they are participating in some kind of documentary.

Throughout the programme, I was left flabbergasted by the complete cavalier attitude of some of the young drivers featured on the programme. Their reckless driving was a far cry from anything they would have learned when revising for the theory test, taking driving lessons and their driving exam.

What concerned me most was the total disregard for safety and the fact that lots of impressionable young people, about to take their theory test or driving exam, could be watching this programme. I have to be honest, it horrified me. What’s worse, and I respect it’s only my opinion, but the retired officer then felt the need to give one of the young drivers a car, which I failed to understand given this individual’s performance.

Based on the individual’s knowledge of the road they would never have passed a theory test, let alone the practical exam, based purely on this performance. Then to give them a car, WOW!

In my opinion, programmes like this should be banned. They have evolved into something more sinister since the days of Driving School and will certainly do no favours for individuals looking to take the theory test or practical exam.

The Book Theory Test Today blogger says: “It appears that my sentiments are supported. In April 2013, police investigated the reckless driving offences performed by youngsters on the show after viewers complained about some of the actions of the youngsters featured.”

It just goes to show, some reality TV shows leave the wrong kind of impression!

Book Theory Test Today offers an intermediary service assisting clients with booking a UK theory test, or practical test, at test centres across the nation. The service also supplies resources to help you prepare for your theory test – Ready to take your theory test? Book your theory test online today…  

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