Man finally passes driving test on the 33rd attempt after 25 years of lessons
Judging by the experiences I've had during the short time I've been able to drive, I'd be willing to bet that a solid 20 percent of people on the road do not deserve their licenses. I've seen accidents caused by drivers on their phones, fits of road rage break out over a lack of turn signal or poor execution of a three-point-turn, and - as a pedestrian - I'd bet that I've narrowly avoided death by dangerous driving at least a few times in the last year alone.
Despite the obvious dangers posed by incompetent drivers, though, some people are so determined to get behind the wheel that they'll stop at nothing to get that pass certificate.
Christian Whiteley-Mason, a Care Home Manager from England, has probably put in more effort than most. Over the past quarter of a century, the 42-year-old has made 33 test attempts, got through 14 different instructors, and paid for a total of 85 lessons - and he's only just passed.
"I can't believe I've actually finally passed after all these years," he said. "I'm still in shock!"
Whitely-Mason took his first test way back in 1992 - during which time it was ostensibly easier to pass due to there being no theory section - but quickly entered into a pattern of rapid failure. At first, he blamed it on a particularly harsh test examiner, but, after dozens of lessons and no change in results, he started to realize that his "bad luck" on tests might have actually just been down to a lack of skill.
"I had 56 lessons with my first instructor and eventually he told me to just give up as I would never pass," the Care Home Manager explained.
Eventually, by 2003, he admitted (temporary) defeat and gave up on taking the test.
However, when life started to change for the hapless driver, he came to see that he didn't just want to pass - he needed to.
"I had to either get taxis or rely on other people and it was costing me a fortune. So in January that was it, I just decided I was going to go for it," he said. "Everyone laughed at me and said I'd never do it, I'd get bored again. But I was absolutely determined I was going to show everyone."
Even Whitely-Mason's husband, who has been married to him for 10 years (and presumably doubled up as his taxi driver during that time), said he wouldn't pass. "You're an accident waiting to happen," he joked.
But he proved them all wrong - and he couldn't be happier for it.
"I'm so proud of myself. It's changed my life, to be honest. I felt like I'd achieved everything I really wanted to achieve, this was the one thing left I had to do.
"My motto was always been don't stop believing."
In celebration of his victory and his newfound freedom to roam the roads, the 42-year-old splashed out on a car for himself. But, considering he'd already spent a good £10,000 ($14,250) on tests and lessons over the years, the purchase probably felt like a bargain.