Driving tests are a little like the law. They fail to keep up with the technological times. There is surely a myriad of committees that must approve every detail before they enter the real world. By that time, the real world will have moved on.
So Responsible Young Drivers, a safety organization in Belgium, thought it might be amusing to infiltrate a few driving tests in order to make them a touch more contemporary.
I am grateful to Neatorama for discovering this fine video on YouTube, one in which fine young people are told during their driving tests that they must text while they drive. Yes, as part of the test.
Because this is Europe -- indeed, the home of the highly bureaucratic European Commission -- it was easy for the examiners to fool the young victims of this ruse. For they told these unwitting people that there had been a ministerial circular. Texting while driving had to be examined.
There is something so very modern about the young man who, on being told he must avoid an obstacle in the road while texting, declares: "F***, no!"
You see, that's the thing about those who text while driving -- they know how hard it is. To be asked to do it on cue in a pressure-packed situation seems so very mean.
Who cannot sympathize with -- no, laugh uproariously at -- the lady who is asked, while at the wheel, to text: "I am going to get some fries?"
When the examiner fails them for incompetent spelling, it does seem a little odd. It is a fundament of texting that one misspells words. Who on earth sends texts where everything is spelled correctly? That simply isn't cool.
This fine test does, though, reveal aspects of youth that are delightful. Some of the examinees laugh, some cry, and some get very, very cross with themselves.
There is still hope, therefore. Though young people today are more self-absorbed than an opera singer on opening night, they can -- when pressured -- still find a touch of self-criticism buried deep with themselves.