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It’s happened! I’ve added another role to my life as a Mum – I’m now a driving instructor for my son! Although he won’t believe it if I tell him, I actually look forward to those moments when we are in the car together …… well ….. most of the time. If I’m totally honest – sometimes they end badly!!!! On the most part though, it’s a great experience for us both, bringing us closer together. So – I’ve created a page to record some of our progress so far, and then, there’ll be another page later on I’m sure, to celebrate another milestone.

For those of you in America, an “L Plate” is what Australian Learner Drivers have to display on the front and rear of a car to let other drivers know that there is a Learner on the road. For the most part – this system works really well, with experienced drivers knowing to allow that extra bit of patience, care, and room for what can be a very stressful time for brand new drivers. There are of course, those drivers that feel like they need to get past that “L Plate” driver at any cost – a behaviour that I totally don’t understand as it’s not just stressful for the Learner, but also for the instructor. In my part of the world, a Learner Driving License can be obtained from the age of 16. Then they have to drive 120 hours in various weather and road conditions before a Probationary Licence can be sat for at the age of 18. Once achieved the driver has to display a Red “P Plate” for the first 12 months, and then a Green “P Plate” for the next 24 months – so a total of 3 years Probationary Licence displaying plates before a full license is issued.

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Something else to look forward to is coming soon! It’s our 4th birthday at pixels2Pages.net – and we are going to celebrate with a crop! So save the dates: 25th to 27th April, 2014 – and join in on the fun!

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21 Responses to Blog: Something to look forward to …

  1. Anita Albritton says:

    Thanks for sharing you experiences here, Janice! And how wonderful that you are recording these memories on album pages!! I have to echo what the others have said about the driving age…wish ours in the US were more gradual. In Florida kids can get their learners permits at 15, and actual Operators License at 16. Obviously they keep learning even while on their own, and my boys had the minor accidents to prove it! I had to chuckle at your response to one of the other comments. I remember well that worn “fake brake” spot on the floorboard!! 🙂

    • Janice says:

      I like your “keep learning on their own” and how they have proved it Nita!!! That’s the bit that worries me. Statistically Learner Drivers are very low on the percentage scale – it’s when they get their Probationary Licences that that percentage is extremely high!! Glad your boys had only minor ones!

  2. JaneenK says:

    Great page and I like your system. Gives them way more experience than here. Yes I plan to joinin on the birthday scrap!

  3. I wish you an extra measure of grace and patience Janice…and just think – you are practicing for when you get to do this all over again with your daughter! I’ll never forget getting my learner’s permit when I was 15 and my Dad initiating my driving experience by allowing me to drive all 6 of us on our family trip up Highway 1 in Northern California – it’s a very narrow, winding mountain road with high cliffs that drop off into canyons or the ocean. It was a great experience and as a result I absolutely love to drive anywhere and everywhere! Oh, and the family actually survived!

  4. Carol says:

    Great page Janice and love the story.

    I wish they had the special plates here in Canada for new drivers as well as that long of a waiting period. Here in Ontario, Canada they can get their “G1” when they turn 16 and then after a year of driving with parents or driving school they get their “G2” which then permits them to drive alone. From the time they get their G1 they have 5 years to get their full “G” license. As most kids do they leave getting their G until the last minute. So essentially the kids driving alone here are only 17. They can’t even vote yet but can drive. When my daughter (26 now) turned 16 I wouldn’t let her get her “G1”, I made her wait until she was 17. I didn’t feel she was old/mature enough. She was fine with that, she finally went when she was 18. As for my son, (21 now) when he turned 16 he went for his G1 also had bought his own truck when he was 15 to be ready for that day. For him he raced go-karts and was very good on the track and we thought he was going to be good. Let’s just say if I’d known then what I know now, I would have made him wait not his sister.

    • Janice says:

      It is different in each State here in Australia – which I find hard to understand. Where I am, a Learner Driver has to be 18 and have held his Learner’s Permit for 12 months (with the 120 hour drive time) before they can sit for the license. My daughter will be 16 in June – and I can’t imagine even beginning to teach her how to drive at that age. I’m hoping she’ll be like my son and wait a while before deciding he was ready to start learning.

  5. Sandy says:

    Sure wish it was more than a six month probationary period here. I don’t think that’s enough time for anyone to truly get to know everything they need to know about driving, especially in climates where the weather changes drastically between seasons. Best of luck to both of you as you go through this experience together.

    PS- I can’t wait for a PIXIE PARTY!!

  6. sistersunshine says:

    Oh Janice, Peace & joy. Having worn that hat for several children I totally appreciate your feelings. The Joy and the invisible break pedal, the learning to relax and let them drive, to the point of pride when they get their first license… nice to have it documented. *U* Kathleen who is excited for the 4th bday crop gonna add doing pages for my kids driving to my list to do then.

    • Janice says:

      Thank you Kathleen, I think I’ve worn a patch in the carpet the first few weeks! Can’t wait to see your pages too – and I can’t wait for the crop, it’s going to be fun. I can’t believe we will be “4 years old” already!!!

  7. Deanna Emmert says:

    Oh, I think I like your Aussie system better than the one here in Oregon or any of the other 49 states!!

    • Janice says:

      I think it is a good system. I only just learnt that the USA doesn’t have anything like this. I’m pleased too that the State I live in the driving age is 18, as it is younger in other States in Australia.

  8. You are so brave to undertake this new role. Your various progressive licenses seem far more sensible than the way it works in most states in the U.S. Do you have the issue of texting while driving? A lot of inexperienced drivers don’t get how very dangerous texting can be. In fact there are many adults who don’t get it either.

    My boys took lessons with driving instructors because I would never do the actual instructing. Although we did do some driving in large parking lots when there was very little traffic- early, early mornings, some Sundays. Good Luck to both you and your son.

    • Janice says:

      I do like our system Barbara – even though it’s harder work for the parents. Texting or talking, or even just touching your mobile phone is against the law here. A girlfriend of mine just got a $400 fine, and lost 3 demerit points off her licence when she was caught picking her phone up to look at a message while she was stuck in peak hour traffic. The only way, legally, to use your phone while driving is if you have bluetooth, hands free, capability. Even with the stiff penalties though, it’s amazing how many people ignore it – and how badly they drive while using their phones!

  9. Cheryl says:

    I absolutely love the idea of displaying the letters on the license plates. I too enjoyed most of the time with my boys learning to drive. We did have one time when I was yelling Deer! As I could see it running across the field toward the road and he never did anything until the deer rolled over the hood of the car. When Dad asked him about it that night, his reply was “Mom always gets excited about things!”

    • Janice says:

      Oh my gosh!!! Glad I don’t have to deal with deer – although with country driving we do have to watch out for wildlife! I’m chuckling at your son’s comment though, I can relate to that!

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