Woman, 22, who 'catastrophically' failed first driving test passes in different town
A singer who “catastrophically" failed her first driving test with three majors tried again in the location with the country’s highest pass rate and got her licence.
Emma Cannon, 22, went over the speed limit during her test in her hometown of Chippenham, Wiltshire, parked on the pavement, and forced the instructor to take over the wheel.
She broke down in tears during the ordeal but says she had to carry on with the test. Worried that she'd never pass and keen not to relive the stress of her first attempt, she thought of a way to boost her chances.
Cannon went online to search for the place in the UK with the highest pass rate, which turned out to be Dorchester, Dorset.
She booked a test there and made the two hour journey with her mum to stay the night before. On the day, she was “over the moon” to pass with just one minor.
The newly qualified driver is now urging learners to consider the location of their test centre when booking.
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"It was a disaster, it was so bad. I felt uncomfortable and on edge, I was making the most stupid mistakes," she said as she recalled her first test in late-October.
“I forgot to turn my lights on and when she asked me to open the bonnet, I tried to put the stick in the wrong place."
Things got worse when Cannon was given a parallel parking as her manoeuvre. She added: “Within five minutes and knew I had failed. I parked on the pavement. I asked if I could adjust and she said no."
At a junction leading to a dual carriageway, Cannon says the instructor thought she wasn’t looking at the road enough, “slammed the brakes on and took over the wheel”.
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Cannon, who started learning in April, said she ended up speeding as the road's speed limit was 30mph due to roadworks, meaning she picked up three majors.
“She told me I failed but had no emotion and didn't seem to care,” Cannon added, claiming she’d sworn never to return to the Chippenham test centre after that ordeal.
In comparison, she said she had “such a different experience” when she took her test in Dorchester in February.
"I didn't know the area, it was very rural. The test instructor was really nice and made me feel comfortable," she said.
Cannon says she only received two minors - one for not knowing where the brake fluid went and one for not looking for long enough when turning onto a dual carriageway.
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"I think in a new area, you have to read the signs and road more. I wasn't in my head so much as I was having to pay attention," she added, suggesting a change of scene may have helped.
For her manoeuvre, Cannon was asked to forward park into a bay. "It was the best parking I have ever done," she said.
Explaining how elated she was to pass, Cannon said: "I was just so happy, it's amazing now I can drive.
“I live in the middle of nowhere so I was going mental - there's three buses a day where I live. I was so scared for so long but I think the instructor you get really makes a difference.
"A lot of it in your head, you start overthinking it. In my first test I could barely speak and I was in tears. If that was a real life scenario, you wouldn't continue to drive.”