It’s never too early to start learning how to drive
You can’t learn to drive early enough, according to the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS). They’re running a pilot program for kids as young as 12 in Adelaide that they hope the Government will pick up and run across all secondary schools.
It’s an absolutely fantastic idea. Not only will it prevent kids from picking up bad habits from parents or older siblings who drive them around, it’ll also prevent anyone chickening out of driving and waiting too long to get a licence.
As a child of the era of the first really graphic road safety television ads, I waited till my mid 20s to start learning to drive because I always felt too anxious to take the responsibility of getting behind the wheel.
While friends who jumped at the chance to get their Ls have always been ahead of the driving game. By the time I was on my Ls, most had their gold licences and could reverse park with their eyes closed.
Needless to say, it’s taken me longer to achieve all those things. Some may still argue the toss about my reverse parking skills, too. The upside though was emotional maturity, and that’s where I think the CAMS program should draw the line.
Being able to drive is one thing, but making good driving decisions is another. While it can only do young kids good to grasp the basics of driving and get some road sense as well as feel confident, you’d not like to see them actually get out on the road on their own until they’re much older.
Driving skills test your spatial awareness, knowledge of road rules and co-ordination. But in an ideal world, nobody should be allowed to drive on the road by themselves, before some kind of emotional maturity test.
Follow me on Twitter: @lucyjk
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