“I’m not silly enough to be critical of women drivers”

I'M neither game enough nor silly enough to be critical of women drivers.

I'm even prepared to grovel - I've found them careful, respectful of the traffic laws, considerate of other road users, occasionally cool in an emergency.

There, that ought to earn me some brownie points.

I must admit, though, there have been times when my opinion has been shaken.

Like what a Queensland driving instructor told me happened with the ancient woman he was teaching.

The woman, who said she only wanted a licence to show her smart-arse husband she could do it, told him she knew the road rules - she'd have to keep clear of the big red fire engine they were passing.

She should've gone to Spec Savers, the instructor said, the big red fire engine was a bougainvillea bush in full bloom.

Driving instructors and licence examiners are often prematurely grey.

You couldn't blame one examiner in Surrey, England, if he gave the job away.

He finished up sitting on the roof of the car in the River Wey with the woman he was testing.

And they were there until another driver came along.

This one luckily was driving a boat.

"I threw a lifebelt to the woman who said she couldn't swim," said the boatman.

"We got her into the boat and the driving examiner crawled across the roof. The police had already arrived when I took them across to the bank."

The woman told the cops it was her fifth test and had been going much better than the previous four.

"Then I must have put my foot on the accelerator instead of the brake - I went straight through the railings into the river."

The examiner said only that he'd held onto the test clipboard like any good captain would so it didn't go down with the ship . . . er, car.

'Did she get her licence?' You might ask.

The Pom Ministry of Transport wasn't making any hurried decisions.

"It is regarded as a terminated test - we cannot say whether the lady passed or failed until the examiner makes his report."

The report, damp from the river, would do well to recommend swim lessons for licence testers.