[DWJ] Minnow's mention

Juliette Curtis jcurtis at harvestroad.com
Wed Mar 28 21:03:28 EDT 2007


In Western Australian, learner drivers must have a yellow plate with a big
black L on it. After they pass the driver's test, they are "probationary
drives" and must wear a white plate with a big red P on it for exactly one
year. P platers have a lower maximum speed and a lower legal blood alcohol
level. 

L and P plates are really helpful for other drivers. If you see a car with a
P, you know this is an inexperienced driver who might make poor decisions so
you keep an eye on them. If they have an L plate, you know they are REALLY
inexperienced, probably travelling slowly, braking abruptly, signalling
erratically etc and you know to give them PLENTY of extra space and be
patient with them. I noticed a real difference in how other drivers behaved
around me when I took my P plates off.

And as for manual gears (aka stick), I refuse to drive anything else. I
enjoy driving and the manual gears mean I am more involved in managing the
engine and determining the car's performance in specific situations, which
makes the driving more fun and more interesting. Automatic is boring - like
driving a bumper car. When I am shopping for a car, I won't even test drive
an automatic. There's no point - I'm definitely not going to buy one. I also
think it's better to learn to drive in a manual so that one will be
competent in both automatics and manuals. So take heart, all you manual
student drivers, you'll get the hang of it soon. The trick is to listen to
the engine because its sound will tell you when to change gears.

Juliette




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