Saturday, June 7, 2008

Book of the Moment

I am pretty used to being in the passenger side. Looking at all the nice things areound me, mind wandering to other places and occasionally napping while travelling to my destination. I am so comfortable that way. I don't want to stress myself with focusing on the road and on the traffic around me. But... and the big BUT! Driving in Canada is almost like a necessity. And being independent means I don't have to rely on people to drive me to where ever I want to go. I haven't heard any complaints from the persons who offers me a ride but I can't be forever asking and taking advantage of their kindness. So! With a heavy heart, I am embracing the road to being a responsible driver.

Getting a drivers licence in Toronto is a lengthy process. They use what they call Graduated licensing. If one has a licence to drive a car, it doesn't mean he can also drive a truck or a bus or a motorcycle. You need another kind of license for those vehicles. Since I only need to drive a car or a van, I am required to get the Class G Licence. Class G is composed of 2 levels namely G1 and G2. G1 being the lowest (and most restriction) and G2 (minimum restriction). Everyone getting the Class G will have to start with level G1.

Graduated licencing lets new drivers get driving experience and skills gradually. The two--step licensing process takes at least 20 months to complete. To apply for a licence, I must be at least 16 years old, pass a vision test and pass a test of my knowledge of the rules of the road and traffic signs. Hence, I need to read the above pictured drivers manual to help me get acquainted with the rules of the road and traffic signs. After I pass thses tests, I will enter Level One and get a Class G1 licence. Level one lasts 12 months and I should take an approved driver education course to help me learn proper driving skills . Class G1 license holder must abide by the following rules:

1. Your blood alcohol level when driving should be ZERO.
2. You must not drive alone. An accompanying driver with a valid Class G (with at least 4 yrs experience) must accompany you.
3. each person in the vehicle must have a working seatbelt.
4. You must not drive on roads with a posted speed limit over 80km/h.
5. You must not drive between midnight and 5 AM.

Wow! Talk about restrictions! But after a year on G1 license (and following the rules), I can now take and pass another road test that will allow me to move to Level Two. At this time I will be given a Class G2 license. I still have to adhere to a few restrictions during this level. After 12 months again, I can take another road test to qualify for full licence priviledges. I must pass this test to get a full Class G license.

Just hearing about road tests from relatives who went through it gives me the creeps. It is not an easy test. The examiner is very strict. It's not surprising to hear about failing and getting the road test twice to pass. Nonetheless, I have to go through it as much as anyone. Unless .... I win the Lotto and hire my own driver!

Note: at the moment i'm still on page 39 of the drivers manual. 161 pages more.


Anonymous said...

Can you possibly "embrace the road with a heavy heart?"

With the excitement of being behind the wheel and the focus that you need in order to achieve your goal, I guess, a heavy heart should be lightened.

When one is on the road and behind the wheel, she/he is exposed to harm. To have a strict examiner is a way of telling you that driving is a serious business and safety is his prime concern.

Its a long road to G1 and G2. You just need to enjoy the journey.

Best of luck in your driving lessons.

As for winning the lottery, you won't get a chance if you don't buy a ticket. Therefore, a personal driver is improbable.

'Driving Ms Em' sounds exciting nonetheless.

EM said...

You are definitely right Juleste! I am dreading the prospect of driving but I do know that it also provides freedom that I would appreciate at the end. For some this is an easy challenge but for me, it is a big one but I like challenges.

Thank you for the best wishes. I need it really. I need somebody to push me hard..hehe.

I like the sound of that..."Driving Ms Em" thing. Literally and figuratively.

thanks for visiting...I appreciate the fact that despite you're so busy, you still have time to read my posts. I hope you are doing best on you're side of the world.