Thursday, August 04, 2005 ______________________________________________________________________________

Hole-in-One 

In recent years, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has modified their driver licensing program to show the public that they are taking steps to deal with the "teen driver" problem. The "teen driver" problem, which catches the population's attention whenever other news is scarce, is basically that a small subset of teenagers are getting in cars with friends and crashing those cars in spectacularly fatal accidents. In my opinion, this is a difficult problem to deal with because it does not have much to do with technical driving skills. Rather, it has to do with speeding, driving under the influence or both. Regardless, ICBC must be seen to do something so they have come up with the graduated licensing program.

This program (which doesn't focus on scaring people away from speeding/driving under the influence) involves three tests before you can get your full license. The first is a knowledge test, administered on a computer and the other two are road tests. If you pass the second, you are issued a full license. With the first two licenses (Learners and Novice) there are several restrictions on when and how and with whom you can drive. (For a full list of restrictions, if you are truly interested, see here.) There is a mandatory amount of time you have to wait between stages. In response to another gorey crash, these wait times have increased, supposedly to give young drivers more time to practice their driving under restricted conditions. These restrictions are a joke anyway. The same youth who are speeding and driving under the influence (and both) can hardly be expected to abide by new regulations.

So having waited the requisite amount of time, I went to take my Class 5 (full license) road test today. I was driving Jim's car which is a 5-speed Manual '95 Honda Civic 4-door. Most people take the test on an Automatic because of issues like rolling backwards on a hill and possible shifting errors that cost demerit points. I didn't quite have the option of taking the test on an Automatic. At any rate, I am used to our car and that familiarity more than makes up for the potential disadvantages that arise from the use of a Maunal during a road test.

Let me just stop here and say that Jim = sweetheart. Knowing that I was going to take the car for a road test today he cleaned out the car, washed the outside and vacuumed the inside, all after a hard day's work. I was scheduled to get home at 9pm yesterday, after work and an emergency driving lesson. With the driving test at 9:30am today, I sure was grateful that I didn't have to spend time late last night making the car decent. Plus, poor Jimmy had to take transit to work today, which means waking up a full hour earlier and having to endure the bumps, jolts and smells of public transportation.

I digress.

I am proud to announce that as of today I am a fully qualified driver with no restrictions on my license (except that I have to drive with my vision corrected and am not allowed to drive when my blood alcohol level exceeds the legal limit - you know, the usual). First try. WOO HOO! I rawk! *Thank you, thank you*

All I have to do now is to wait for my brand spanking new license to arrive in my mailbox. Joie Tan, fully qualified driver. Oh yeah.


posted by Joie! at 1:41 PM

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