Monday, August 4, 2008

Driving Lessons, to have or not to have?

>e<

Before I blog, let me just say, we have not passed the driving test yet, and we will be taking it for another time (next one will be the 4th time for me, sorta 3rd time for Joey - long story, read below)

For our 3rd attempt at the Driving test, we figured we needed driving lessons. Not so much to teach us how to drive, but to tell us what they look out for. When enquiring with the driving schools, there were some that mentioned that if you have an instructr with you, somehow the % of passes were higher, maybe coz the tester wasn't right next to you (the instructor will sit there), and from behind, the tester may not be s strict. Also it supposedly showed you've been professionally trained, not to mention if there was something the tester penalized you for, the instructor can speak in your defense.

And the outcome? NOT TRUE! not for experienced drivers actually, according to the VicRoads tester. For me, the lesson was a good practice, but there was NO point in having an instructor beside you during the test at all. We had this guy, Emran. In my test, he just sat there, and did nothing.... which was actually harmless, but when it came to appealing for an arguable mistake (I was allowed 2 mistakes, I supposedly made 3), he just stood there, without a single word at all - until the tester turned her back for a moment, then he said, its arguable. but he wouldn't open his mouth when she was there. So I've written in and will wait a week for their response. One mistake was evident, I admit, I panicked when she gave me an instruction I couldn't comply with (She said go straight at the roundabout. When I got there, I realized the arrow said left only). The right thing to do was not do it, but I did, so fine, my mistake. The next mistake (she said I didn't give way to someone at some roundabout), I couldn't remember at all, so no point arguing. But the last mistake that I am arguing about is the speed limit. As you can see from my previous blogs, I'm usually slow. So this time, in the 2nd half of the test (this is the first time I've made it to the 2nd part of the test), when there was an 80kmh section, I tried to hard to get to 70. haha. I saw it hit 80, and I looked into the back mirror and then braked, as per the required sequence, but the tester said she saw me hit just over 80 for 3 seconds. Firstly, I told her, I only saw it hit 80, not exceed it, and secondly, even if it as while I was looking in the back mirror, it couldn't have been 3 seconds. So she takes out the rule book, turns to the 'speed' section and reads 'you can't exceed the speed limit by any amount of time', to which I responded 'for over 5kmh' which was clearly stated in the same sentence. she goes to the next (or so) sentence and says, 'you can't exceed the speed limit by any amount at all' to which I replied, 'for 5 seconds continually' - it was right there, I already read it before the test. So she flips to the back and said, its considered 'other illegal action', so there. Anyway, like I said, appeal submitted, but I need to book another test again while waiting. will be calling vicroads everyday at 8.30am.

and Joey? this is the reason why we have concluded, DON'T take an instructor with you. While he was reversing out of the parking, the instructor commented 'be careful', and because the instructor spoke, his test was immediately terminated. So, he didn't get to do it at all. The tester (same as mine) was very very good to us in this case, although there was nothing she could do, she spoke to Emran's (the instructor's) manager (that I called to scream at), to bear witness that Joey did NOTHING wrong and his termination of the test was due to Emran opening his mouth. We never saw Emran again. no apologies, no goodbyes, he just drove off. I was in the test centre, he never even came in. sorta ran away. I did pursue the matter with his manager, and the conclusion is, Emran has an entirely different story, said the tester tapped his shoulder to ask him to say something etc, but the tester clearly spoke to his manager, in front of us, saying there was no such thing, she did not indicate anything to him in any way, she would not have made that call, and she would not have penalized Joey for anything at that point in time. anyway, too late, he has to make another booking too, which he is VERY upset about. I mean, he didn't even get to take the test! On the other hand, the driving school (Emran's manager) was very apologetic, said he believed us because we did let him speak to the tester to hear for himself, and he agreed to get the guy to bank in a reimbursement for joey's half of the lesson that was paid to him, plus the cost of the next test - which was the minimum that I asked him for.

so, our Journey continues...

8 comments:

joshua said...

it's a long, long journey and this is just the beginning...

all the best. 8-)

Jacqueline said...

now i know I am really fortunate and thanks God for having my Sg licence with me...
When i think back, i do not know why do i convert my licence to a Sg licence few years back... now then i know i did it for something which God lead to :-P

Ebbie Low said...

Joshua, so true =)
Jaq - good thing you did that =) also, it's been extra hard coz they just added some crazy criteria since 1st July 2008, so we were JUST too late =(

d'Lion said...

Ebbie, the driving test is very difficult the way you told it, unlike here in Malaysia. Wonder why the accident rate here is so high.

richrach said...

Ebbie, Joey.... all the best to u in your coming tests! Pray before you start the engine okie!

sonali said...

oh my gosh, you had a really strict tester. it seems like she didn't want you to pass. maybe she thinks there's already enough drivers in the world. hope my tester isn't gonna be like that.

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