DS passed driver's test!

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
DS passed driver's test!
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Wed, 02-05-2014 - 1:17pm

I don't wish to embarrass my second eldest DS - but he won't be frequenting this board anyway...but then I think he should not be embarrassed  but pleased and proud as we are, his parents, for finally passing the driver's test to get his license!  It's just that it's taken him a few tries to get it.  I think the driving test is quite difficult - though some of his errors in the past were I think due to a certain inattentiveness - kind of being caught off guard or maybe just not thinking?  I don't know...it's taken him time and practice and concerted effort I would think to remember all the little things one must do to drive according to the rules of the road.  (He was my son who at a younger age was suspected of having ADD though with testing it was never conclusive). 

Actually he is now very close to the age I myself got my driver's license...in fact, he was with me when I got it. I was something like 8 months pregnant with him at the time!  I was 31 years old and up to then managed to get by without knowing how to drive...i.e. getting around the city with train, or bus or walking...depending.  I finally realized more of a need to know how to drive when I was pregnant with my second child.  I had a sense that getting around to where I wanted to go with two children would be far easier with an ability to use our one vehicle - since Ray always took public transportation to get to work.  So I took a driver's ed course and this was in Montreal (or just outside of the city in the suburbs) and I was a nervous wreck during my practical driving part...but I persisted and when it came to the actual driving test I managed to pass, but honestly, it wasn't that hard!  I am very sure that the test that my own children had to do here in Calgary was (from what I heard from them) much much more difficult!  At 8 months pregnant it was a miracle that I managed to even fit behind the wheel of the car!  I remember the driving tester fellow not asking me to do a whole lot of driving or anything terribly difficult (no parallel parking, thank heavens!).  And so I passed it.  It was, I am sure, not so easy for DS who passed it just yesterday (after a few tests over a period of time). 

He managed for years to get by with public transportation which is pretty amazing in a city like Calgary that is built so that it relies so heavily on the use of the car.  But lately he had found it most frustrating to not have the easier means of having a car to even go shopping for groceries (and he doesn't live in walking distance to a grocery store).  Anyway now that's three of four of my children who have their driver's license.  DD is the last one who so far hasn't felt a huge need to have and drive a car.  So far...!

Shirley

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Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 02-05-2014 - 1:35pm

Shirley, I was just like you!  I got my license when I was 29, & pregnant with my first child.  My motivation was that Ed was traveling with his job, and no longer available to take me anywhere on a moment's notice.  It was a godsend, in that I ended up having a terrible pregnancy, in and out of the hospital numerous times, and I was able to get myself to and from the doctor, and my job, much easier than waiting for a bus or train.

Ed has been a "gearhead" ever since he knew what a car was, & got his license the day he turned 16.  Both my kids took a little longer, but nowhere near the time I took.  I DO think ADDers have a harder time of it.  Rae failed a couple times before she got her license, and had (and continues to have) NUMEROUS accidents.  She just gets distracted easily.  Ed jokes, somewhat painfully, that he wonders how long it will take her to back out of the driveway with the baby carrier on the roof!!

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
Wed, 02-05-2014 - 2:01pm

I have driven a few times as a passenger with my second DS after he got his learner's permit.  My only concern with his driving at the time was that he tended to be a bit heavy footed on the gas pedal!  And there was this thing he did where he'd press on the gas and drive faster just to drive up to the car ahead of him stopped at the red light of the traffic lights!  Like what's the rush to get to stop and wait behind a car?  Oy!  Otherwise, he just needed to get familiar with turning the car to go left or maybe right so that it wasn't in such a wide arc!   My first DS was a more nervous driver than the others, and it made me nervous too to ride with him - not that he was so bad, but well...  And then Ds 3 took to driving so naturally - I never worried a minute about his ability to drive well. 

Shirley

Avatar for nora_mcl
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2011
Wed, 02-05-2014 - 7:36pm

I learned to drive right after I finished nursing-my father refused to allow me to learn from home, but when we got married, I think MIke realized that if I didn't learn, he'd be responsible for picking me up from late shifts, or driving me to night shifts. So I had to learn-& on a stick shift. I took lessons from a Driving School & was genuinely shocked when the instructor said (quietly)"If you pop that clutch one more time, I swear...!" So I never did.

Our kids had to learn as soon as they turned 16-living in the country, there was no public transit available & they needed to get jobs to help pay for University. We said we'd pay for gas & insurance but they had to pay for their driving lessons-thinking they'd be more apt to listen & do well if they paid for them. I would take them to practise & I distinctly remember DD#1 edging off the highway onto the side of the road & as I squawked at her-she growled "The best part about having my license will be NOT having you in the vehicle with me". But all was well, she didn't go into the ditch or tip the van (a full-sized van). And all 3 are good drivers now. And I survived it all. For each, we had a year of chauffeuring to Fast Food joints & driving lessons-but after that they could drive themselves.

Adam could not wait until he turned 16 to learn to drive-but his dr told him he could not drive (I think because of the oxygen & Learning issues). He was very upset-about 6 or 7 years later-he informed me that we didn't go to that doctor any more-he'd go for his driving test now, please. Alas-wasn't the doctor-but the rules.

Nora

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Wed, 02-05-2014 - 9:49pm

Congrats to your son. Having a driver"s license is a must these days. My two both have theirs. I was adament about that. And, with the new rules here, it took awhile to get theirs.  The mimimun amount of time is 2 years (2 road tests) but my kids went away for university. That extended the time between their two road tests. They would drive whenever we had to go any place; including more than a few trips back and forth to Nora's part of the world.

DD passed both her G1 road test and G2 road test at the first try.  DS had to take the G2 road test 2times; the first time he got a cranky female examiner. I say "cranky" because I knew from her body language when I watched her walk up to the car that she was going to fail him. (About 50% of people fail their G2 road test here).  We just arranged for some "refresher" lessons with his original instructor and he passed two weeks latter. 

I got mine after I finished grad school because not having one was starting to be a problem.  I didn't have access to car so my boss would let me pratice in the "back lot" at work on his old beater.  As soon as I had my license, I bought myself a car and that car took me all over Canada and parts of the US as a young woman.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-1997
Wed, 02-05-2014 - 9:55pm

I must be the odd girl here.  I took driver's ed. in high school & got my license at 17.  I wanted it at 16 but couldn't fit the driver's ed. into my class schedule (damn those college prep courses).  I went to high school in the suburbs of New York City and it was our right to graduate with a driver's license.  One positive for driver's ed was taking a required course in auto mechanics.  You couldn't pass driver's ed without learning how to repair a car.  Now if you ask me to fix my car - it's called take it to a Toyota dealership & pay them to fix it.  As for my husband, he went to high school in the city and it wasn't required for students because New York City kids rely on public transportation more than cars.  He got his license at 22 yrs. after graduating college.  Meanwhile, he's had more accidents than I ever did.  We compared our driver's ed and it's a huge difference.  Mine was over 6 months.  His was a few weeks.

Kathy

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 2:10am

Congrats to your ds. Does he have access to a car, now that he has the license?

I got my license at 17. I learned on a manual transmission because that was the kind of cars my parents had, and in those days sticks were much more common than automatic transmissions.

Neither of my kids was particularly anxious to get their license. Ds got his the summer after HS graduation, dd waited until she was 18 because the driving classes were not required by that age. (she did have to get a permit and we rode along for many hours of practice until she was ready). Both managed to get the license on the first attempt. Both kids had been taught by dh to drive the manual transmission Ford Ranger truck when they were about 14, maybe that is what took away the thrill of getting a license!

Dd sold her car before moving to NYC, if she needs transport other than train or taxi she rents a ZipCar for a few hours. Ds has a car in SF but uses public transportion a lot. Finding parking is usually difficult there. Even parking in his residential neighborhood is challenging because the cars have to be moved so often for street sweeping. San Diego is very car-centric with poor public transportation, I see traffic and parking getting gradually worse so I'm thinking of when and how I can not use the car.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 8:18am

There was no public transportation in the town I grew up in or the town we live in now so getting a drivers licence as a teen is the norm.

We all got ours at 16.  When  I was in school drivers ed was a class at school.   When DD1 and DD2 they could take the written part  as a class  in school but not the driving part.  That had to be either done by either by paying a driving school or parent taught.  We chose the former, the cost was very much worth not doing it ourselves.    By the time DD3 was 16 it was no longer a class in school so she had to go to drivers school for both the written and driving part.  DH also got his at 16 but I do not know the logistics behind it.

There was  no  public transporation where DD1 and DD2 went to school. While it was not needed on campus because it was so small.  They needed cars to go off campus for shopping etc and DD2 needed one the year she did her student teaching as she was going all over the county.

They did have a bus system where DD3 went to college that not only was on campus but the surrounding area.  Her last two years she lived in off campus apartments.  She rode the bus (or rode her bike)  rather than driving because it was so expensive  for a parking permit on campus and having a permit was no guarentee that you would actually get a parking space. 

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 8:27am

DH (who went to Catholic school, meaning no driver's ed included) and ds (no driver's ed in schools here, and none required anyway; now you just take the test at the DMV) both got their permits and licenses the day they turned 16 - well, ds had to wait 2 days on his license - he's an August baby and always hated that he was in summer camp (I worked) on his birthday. Here the day he turns 16 it was on a Saturday so he had to wait til Monday for his license - he was so upset! 

We took driver's ed in PE class sophomore year of HS, then took 'range' (sabr - at Bogan HS) that summer, so even though I turned 16 in Feb, I had to wait til like October to get my license.  No big deal to me but I was glad when I finally got it.  My friends and I, at 16, just tooled around on our bicycles anyway, so it was fine. But once we got wheels, we did enjoy that too!

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 8:27am

Forgot to mention, ds didn't study for the test or even read the book for the license - dh put him through serious paces and then ds decided he could get the required 80% to pass, and took it cold. He got 80%, darnit.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 11:07am

Growing up in Montreal, there was no need for a car. I took buses, the subway etc.. to get around. And Driver's Ed was not part of the school curiculum. There may have had a course on the weekends or after school, I don't remember. But it would not have being during class time and not for credit. We had a standard curiculum in the province so it didn't matter which school you went to.

It also is not part of provincial high school curiculum here. The school did provide a list of government-approved driver's ed courses but that's about it.

Like I said before, it is a long process here. There is a  written test and two road tests (during which they are also quizzed on the written material also) before they are fully licensed. The fastest you can do is typically 2 years but most people take longer. And the fail rate is high for the G2 and final road test is high. You have 5 years to do it.  So, no 16 year olds driving on their own here and few 17 year olds (you can drive on your own after the first road test, with restrictions).  Only one of my kids' friends was fully licensed before she turned 19 and several still do not have their licenses.

It's "pain" when you are going through the process and expensive but worth it. We have seen a sharp reduction in accidents in the under 25 age group.

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