Area teenagers hoping for a low-stress driver’s license exam may be in for an unpleasant surprise if they draw “Zone 6” as their driving portion of the test. Zone 6 is a new addition to the existing driving exam zones, and it involves driving from the parking lot of Shelbyville Road Plaza, down Shelbyville Road to the Oxmoor Center parking lot, and back.
The road test is administered by the Kentucky State Police, and department spokesperson Adam Eleson says that the KSP is confident that Zone 6 will be the most challenging in the county.
“There’s no doubt that (Zone 6) is difficult. Hell, just getting out of (Shelbyville Road Plaza) parking lot unscathed is tough. And then, well, anyone who has driven that stretch of Shelbyville Road knows that it is very challenging, not only from a driving perspective, but also mentally. If an applicant can navigate that stretch safely, and not lose his or her mind, they absolutely deserve to get their license”.
So difficult is Zone 6, that KSP is waiving the written portion of the driver’s license exam for those who successfully finish it.
“We figure if a kid makes it through Zone 6 successfully, there’s no reason for a written test”, said Eleson. “We know the kid is a good, if not great, driver at that point”.
Passing the road test not only requires safe driving, but also maintaining a calm mental state during the road test. Official KSP documents obtained by The Louisville Press state:
“In order to pass the road test, drivers must not be involved, directly or indirectly, in a moving violation or accident of any kind. Drivers must also keep calm and not show signs of ‘road rage’ for the duration of the road test”
While these requirements apply to all test zones in Jefferson County, Eleson says the likelihood of road rage will “at least triple” for drivers taking the Zone 6 test.
“I’m a proud member of the KSP and a driver for over twenty years, and I almost freaking lost it trying to change lanes in front of Mall St. Matthews just the other day. So I’m pretty sure a novice driver is going to have trouble staying calm in Zone 6”.
Before making the announcement of the new license exam zone, KSP tested Zone 6 by having twelve driver’s license applicants attempt to pass.
“Seven drivers passed the exam”, said Eleson. “Of the five that failed, one was involved in a minor accident, three failed due to road rage, and one got out of the car at the Oxmoor Center parking lot and ran crying into Von Maur. We hope that young man is okay”.