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Run a red, apply handbrake too soon ... fail after 40 years

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Denis Murray takes his driving test but Alan Carolan is not impressed on RTE One’s The Test

Denis Murray takes his driving test but Alan Carolan is not impressed on RTE One’s The Test

Denis Murray takes his driving test but Alan Carolan is not impressed on RTE One’s The Test

A provisional driver for 40 years takes his driving test on TV tonight - and fails.

Denis Murray (64) went through a red light, crossed the white line and kept putting the handbrake on before the car had stopped.

The Dun Laoghaire man, one of the first people ever to take a driving test while being filmed, was hugely disappointed.

"I thought I had a good chance. Whatever happened to me, my head just wandered," he tells The Test, a six-part series on RTE which follows the fortunes of a group of drivers trying to get a full licence.

However, after two months and more lessons, Denis repeated the test and passed.

The Test, narrated by Simon Delaney, reveals that there are still 65,000 people in Ireland on their third or more provisional licence, with 40,000 of these on their fifth or more.

"You could drive on a provisional licence and keep renewing it and that was quite normal," barman Denis said.

However, a new law means any provisional driver without a fully qualified driver in the car with two years' experience can have the vehicle seized.

Ahead of his test on the show, Denis said: "I'm feeling quite positive. I've picked up a lot from the lessons and I just hope everything will go well for me.

"I'm a carer now for my wife Agnes, so I take care of her and my wife can't drive, so I have to have that to take her to hospital appointments and to take her to church every day.

Strange

"At 64, to be doing your driving test is so strange but I'm glad to be doing it after all these years. I feel good about it."

His instructor Brian Hughes said there were a few things which had to be ironed out.

Tester Alan Carolan was not impressed with Denis's effort on the show, saying: "For a lot of the test he was driving too close to the centre line.

"He has a tendency to apply the handbrake before the car has come fully to a rest and he went through a red light, which potentially is very dangerous."

The Test is on RTE One tonight at 7.30pm