For ages now I’ve been saying that I should take the effort and learn to drive. Here I am, 27 years of age and I’ve never learnt. Hey, I never got round to it, okay?

Well, I’ve finally decided that even if I don’t intend to go out and buy a car straight away, I should learn to drive, before I go senile and my brain shuts off from old age and I can’t. So I’ve been reading the Traffic Handbook for a while, and today at lunchtime I went up and did the test. Multiple choice, 32 questions, just sit at terminal number 2 and press on the screen, Mr Bowen.

It was easy. I’m almost surprised at how easy it was. But I guess that’s because the bulk of the road laws are pretty simple. If you’ve lived here for more than a couple of years and have been paying attention, you probably know most of them without even glancing at the book.

The questions that were about other stuff were pretty easy too, because all you needed to do was use a little common sense. And if that wasn’t enough, choose the cautious, safer, or more scary answer.

Not that I’m saying you shouldn’t read the book, of course. In any case, using a combination of reading the book a few times, using common sense and careful choice got me a score of 100%, which is way more than I ever got for any test or exam in school.

A little waiting, an eye test (they looked a bit confused with what to do about my blind right eye, but eventually worked out I just needed to have two mirrors attached), get the photo taken and Bob’s your uncle.

What I found was interesting was the number of people who came in while I was waiting, and made things harder for themselves by claiming to have an appointment, but not having the appointment number they’d been given… or not having adequate ID, when it was all clearly explained on the phone. ‘Cos for a government department, everything went pretty smoothly, as long as you did what you were asked to do.

But then, maybe following those instructions was part of the test?

Anyway, that’s just a permit to learn to drive… I guess the hard bit is yet to come.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.