Rules add to licences

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
After what seems to have been a very long process, the young lad across the road now has his restricted driver’s licence, writes parenting columnist Ian Munro.

Ian Munro.
Ian Munro.

I’m sure both his parents are a little greyer than they were at the start. And I sense that they aren’t as confident in his driving abilities as he is.

So, even though the examiner was obviously confident enough, they spent some time with their son establishing some ground rules to complement the regulations he has to abide by to hold his restricted licence.

They’ve written them down and all three have signed them to avoid any misunderstandings later.

Here’s a list you might like to consider in similar circumstances. If the car is to go out on the road the driver is:

• to obey all traffic laws and the limits of the licence and in particular:  seatbelt use, speed limits, use of alcohol and no passengers no matter the circumstances 

• to maintain safe following distances and not be tempted to race, tailgate or respond to gestures or challengesto view driving as something proactive rather than reactive. In other words, watch what’s coming up ahead and see situations as they start to develop rather than after they have to treat all other drivers as potentially inattentive and therefore likely to do something silly such as run a red light

• to avoid such distractions as playing music and drinking and eating while drivingto have the phone turned off when driving. That’s off off

• to phone home when on the way there so you know when to expect them

• to maintain the family car in return for having use of it by cleaning it fortnightly and doing basic maintenance and, with you paying the cost, ensuring and arranging that its warrant of fitness is current and that it receives its scheduled servicing

• to keep a log and, when used for after school or summer work, make a contribution to the cost of the fuel used.

Consequences for any breach of this agreement could range from limited use of the car to no use, paying all traffic fines and paying the insurance policy excess and lost no claim bonus if the car is damaged.

On my suggestion, our young neighbour will also undertake a defensive driving course, which his parents will pay for, and will drive his parents from time to time to help them out and to allow them to monitor his driving techniques.

He’s also not to expect to have his own car until he has his full licence and can afford to maintain it fully out of his own earnings and, if necessary, be prepared to sell it to pay the bills. 


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