We all want that freedom to be able to drive wherever we want to whenever we want to without our parent’s nagging at us. I’m in Driver’s Ed, which is a 30 hour class of learning about how to operate a car, how to read signs, what to do in every situation imaginable…it’s pretty boring stuff. I don’t even know how I survived five days of endless torture, but I did, and I passed, and now I can go on to take my 6 hours of BTW (Behind-the-Wheel) lessons.
The process is not exactly what I thought it would be. I thought you just went to take the class, learn to drive with your parents, and then you could go get your license. Nah. It’s not that simple. North Carolina has a Graduated License law which states that you must go through the Graduated Licensing, which is a process with different levels that you go through to finally get your license. It’s a tedious and often frustrating process, but if you look at it from a different standpoint, you can understand why. Teenage drivers are often reckless and cause a lot of accidents on the road. And look at it from your parent’s point of view. Would you want your child getting a permit and then rampaging the roads?
First of all, you have to take Driver’s Ed (14 ½ years of age), which I just finished. Then you have to take 6 hours of Behind-the-Wheel with an instructor. This includes learning the basic maneuvers, learning more difficult maneuvers, learning how to drive on different roads, and inspecting your car. Then you can go get your permit (15-18 years old). After you get your permit, you can drive from 5AM to 9PM with a supervising person who has had (and still currently has) an eligible license for at least 5 years. After twelve months with NO INFRACTIONS (this is going to be difficult), you can get your Level II Provisional License. Some restrictions are taken off, like you can drive without supervision from 5AM to 9PM but you have to have your supervising driver after curfew. After six months with no infractions, you can go get your Level III Full Provisional License. There are no restrictions, but you can’t use a cell phone (but that’s common sense, isn’t it?).
We had to learn at least six hours of alcohol + driving = death, and I can understand why, but we had to memorize so many statistics. I don’t get how that’s going to help us. It’s good to know statistics to show how important the fact is that you can’t drink and drive, but statistics being on the final exam was just pointless. And what maddened me was how many errors there were on the textbook. And our online textbook was from Canada. Question mark?
Well, toodles. I’m not officially done with Driver’s Ed yet…I still have an hour and fifteen minutes left of this torture. Half of that hour is going over everything again with our parents present. I mean, it’s one thing for me to freak out and be paranoid with all this driving stuff, but to have my parents freak out? Ah, that’s another thing that I have to deal with.