Friday, October 17, 2008

Code 008 – Licence to stall (with apologies to James Bond… and considerate drivers)

Yes, I’ll admit it. I am a Learner Driver. I am one of those nervous pathetic types that you drive behind in peak traffic and that keeps stalling the car every 10 metres. I am the reason the car has that sticker on that says “Please be patient.” I am the person that licensed drivers have to watch out for at traffic circles, because I have no idea when it is my turn to go or I just can’t stop in time so proceed anyway. My maximum speed at any given time is 60km/h and I’ve never been above third gear (except when I accidentally put it in fifth).

Let me tell the inconsiderate drivers out there something. There’s no need to get aggressive. It’s just rude to roll your eyes (or worse, make facetious hand gestures) at learners when they’re going slowly. The car says “Please be patient”, not “Please be a dumb chop.” You would think you’d be able to read that because you spend so much time behind me while I try to pull off on an incline.

It’s bad enough that you overtake me all the time and scare the living daylights out of me because you’re so close to my car. Would you rather I drive faster and cause an accident? I will if you’d like, but I somehow doubt this would improve relations between us. Your insurance company would not love you either.

Speeding is also fun for drivers, apparently… not that I would know, being a learner and all that. What I do know is that accelerating down a 45 degree incline while overtaking me is dangerous. I’ll repeat that in case you’ve been deafened by the thumping eardrum-murdering music that pumps out your car. It’s dangerous. What if I decided to turn but forgot to put my indicator on? Not that I’ve ever done that or anything.

I will drive alongside you one day, but for now I would prefer it if you went away and didn’t clog up the road that I try so hard to navigate. I agree with you that K53 is not always the most logical system, but I wish that you remembered all the rules of the road that you were tested on. This way I would not be blamed for causing the near-accident that came about when you drove through the four way stop when it was clearly not your turn. Even I knew that.

So give me a break. I don’t stall at traffic lights on purpose. I don’t do it to annoy you, I promise. Trust me, I’m just as embarrassed as you are enraged. Remember, it may have been last year, it may have been in the last five years or even last millennium, but you did it too. You made those mistakes that you curse me for making. Forgive me then for committing the traffic crimes that are inevitable. Go ahead, sigh and curse under your breath. But please don’t intimidate me – I already have the clutch to fight with.

With any luck I’ll pass my drivers’ licence test in a few months’ time. Then I can be one of your kind. It will be so much fun to run red robots, get speeding fines, hoot at my friends, almost run over pedestrians and generally forget my K53 training as I ride the clutch with the best of you. Honestly, I can’t wait.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

I hear you. Learning to drive is challenging enough without others honking at you and passing by!
-Kimberly/Mom in the City

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