[DWJ] Gears

Roslyn rosgross at bigpond.net.au
Thu Mar 29 21:58:04 EDT 2007

A quick (because I'm so busy) embarrassing confession: I originally tried to
learn to drive on a manual, and went for my licence three times and failed
each time (I *think* it was three times; I've kind of repressed the memory).
I was already in my early 20s at the time. Then I gave up and went for my
licence in an automatic, and got it straight away. Years and years later,  I
would never drive a manual if I could help it (I can if I want, because for
some reason, it wasn't noted on my licence that I was only licensed to drive
an automatic). I don't think I've ever had to, come to think of it.

In Victoria (Australia) we have a law similar to that Juliette has described
for Western Australia, only more stringent. People who get a Learner's
Permit have to have an L (an 'L plate') visible on their car until they get
their Probationay Licence, when they have to drive with a 'P plate' for 3
years (it used to be 2 until recently - I *think* it's three, anyway). You
have to be 18 years old to 'get your Ps'. These laws are pretty rigorously
applied - if a cop stops you for some reason and discovers you're not
driving with a plate when you should be, you are fined and/or lose points
(everyone gets a set number of points; you can lose them for all kinds of
traffic infractions. If you lose them all, you lose your licence for a
while). There are also very strict laws about L and P drivers and alcohol:
when tested, they must have zero alcohol in their blood or they lose their
licence. This is all part of an attempt to cut the horrendous road toll,
which is partly at least due to young (mainly male) hoons with alcohol in
their system.

This didn't end up being so short after all! Welcome to everyone who's new
to the list! 


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