I was in the middle of a driving lesson today (don’t laugh, I really have just been uber lazy in getting my license – or is that licence?), and realised something.
There is entirely double standards involved between learner drivers, and that of regular road users, and its rather silly.
For example, as anyone on the Central Coast can surely agree, many, many, many, (bugger it, nearly all) motorists do not bother to indicate coming off a major roundabout along Wyong Road or The Entrance Road for example.
I don’t see many at all anyway.
A human can generally learn a few ways, but one of those ways is mimic, which is essentially by monitoring ‘peers’ for the actions they take in situations.
Looking at the situation on the roundabouts in the area, I don’t really see many people indicate coming OFF a roundabout at all.
But you can bet the RTA will almost certainly take points off for not obeying the road rules (indicate when coming off a roundabout where it is practical).
I didn’t indicate for a few reasons, but one of which is it didn’t really occur to me to do that (I’ve had my L’s since 2003, haven’t really been motivated to get my P’s til recently, got a car now :D).
Anyway, in 2003, I definitely knew that rule, and sure was very capable in abiding by that specific rule in Queensland.
Here in NSW, it seemed to not cross my mind to do that, like I was already doing so proficiently in Qld.
That’s not too big an issue though, as I am sure I can train myself to do that again (it’s amazing what happens in 3 years of not actually doing any driving at all, you forget some of the basic rules!).
Anyway, being a Learner Driver (and not necessarily, learning how to drive) does see clear and distinct changes in other drivers, some will tailgate to try and cause you to go faster, so naturally, go slower.
Today, we had a P plater feel it was their duty to break the speed limit on approach to a roundabout (Wyong Road) and cut across the right hand lane to the left hand lane, simply because they saw 50 as too slow, coming from a side street..
And then we had the other day, a tailgate from – you guessed it – another P plater, who simply felt they could try and rush the speed limit..
I generally do accelerate to the speed limit where it’s safe to do so!
One item I did indeed learn today however, was that you must indicate to undertake a vehicle turning right.
D’oh, I knew that, but it didn’t really occur to me, because again, in the last 3 years I haven’t really been doing much in learning to drive by the road rules, and neither have I really observed many that do drive according to specifics in the road rules (I doubt many indicate coming around a vehicle turning right on The Entrance Road.
The double standards here unfortunately are that, unless you obviously drive to the book that the RTA have (ie. the correct road rules), you inevitably lose points, and may not pass.
I haven’t attempted that yet, hopefully by Christmas I’ll have the ability to set out by myself, and remove that restriction that requires me to chase down a licensed driver to travel with me.
That is SOOO restrictive. 1 hour unfortunately travels by so fast too!
In the last 5 hours driving however, I think I’ve learnt how to adequately control a manual vehicle, maintain position on a road, negotiate turns, roundabouts, hill starts and traffic appropriately, and if you include the idiots that should have their P licenses taken away from them, I could say I’ve done some hazard perception (by not turning into that P plater and forcing them into a mower shop :)).
I hope that I gather more driving ability in the coming weeks, to the extent that by the end of November, we are getting very confident that my license should be easy to obtain.
I wish I could get more hours in a week however, driving seriously is rating higher than anything on the PC to me right now, and that could be a real positive change.