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Posts Tagged ‘Learning to drive’

L’s bells!

Princess is very unhappy. She has lost her learner driver log book.

The day after her sixteenth birthday she sat for and passed the Driver Knowledge Test. She was then issued with her learner’s licence plus a log-book and was now legally entitled to drive on the road – accompanied by me of course. The log book is kept as proof that she will accumulate the 150 hours of driving experience necessary to be eligible to take the full ‘driving test’. Once passed, she can then drive alone, but must swap her L plates for red P plates (P stands for ‘provisional’ or ‘prat’ depending on how he or she is driving at the time). She will remain a P1 plate driver for 12-18 months and a variety of road rules apply, such as; she may not travel faster that 90kms/hour (56mph); being under 25, she’ll only be able to carry one passenger under the age of 21 between 11pm and 5am; and must have a zero blood alcohol concentration when driving.

Assuming she hasn’t had her provisional licence confiscated (100 drivers in NSW alone do so every day) and/or had her car impounded for doing burnouts, then for the second 12 month period she will progress onto P2 plates which are coloured green. Before these are issued however Princess will need to pass the Hazard Perception Test. Some of the P1 rules will still apply such as zero alcohol, but others will be relaxed. Another 12 months later she can finally apply for her full driving licence.

I wish I could say that as a result of this lengthy graduated licensing scheme, the log book system (unfortunately known to be fudged by some parents) and an increase in licence demerit points and fines, that we now have a very low incidence of teen deaths on our roads. Sadly, the number of P-plate driver deaths in NSW has not significantly reduced and people under 26 comprise only 15% of driver licences but are involved in 36% of road fatalities. A 17-year-old driver with a P1 licence is about four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than a driver aged 26 or older.

When I began my driving career, I remember just having a few dodgy lessons from my dad, grating the gears a couple of times then applying for my test. Okay, I failed it the first time as I was clearly still pants at driving, but I did go on and get it fairly soon afterward.

Needless to say, I found her log book after she had left for school hiding in the glove compartment of the other car. Really losing it though, would probably have been quite a big deal, as presumably she would have had to start all over again.

[Mental note to self. Photocopy log book]

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