12 January 2011

Nervous Nellie Gets A Drivers License, Part 2

Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

A Lost Nervous Nellie Just Received
Directions To Testing Center

Well, here we go! Nervous Nellie is going to take the written UK driver's test this Friday! Woo hoo!

I was unable to book at a test center close to my house, so I have a complicated drive to a town I can't even pronounce :) I will give myself 2 hours to get there - so I hopefully I will have some time to cram once there - just like the good 'ol days

I have studied the book, the CD ROM, and the phone app - I am going to pass this thing, baby!

Um, do you have these in the UK Driver's Test variety?

Here are a few of my 'Cliff Notes' to share:

1. You can park your car in either direction on the side of the road. You also can park half of your car on the sidewalk, but not all of it

2. You don't have to drive with your license on you; you have 7 days to present it at a police station if requested

3. Major highways (aka 'motorways') have posts every 100 metres (or is it yards?) that have arrows on the back of them to show you the direction to the nearest emergency telephone. Isn't that clever?

4. You cannot use your horn from 11:30p to 7a - not even a short 'love ya!' beep to your girlfriends

5. Roads have national speed limits. You know what type of road you are on (and therefore the speed limit) based on the height of the street lights

6. No need to stop for stopped school buses

7. All children can sit in the front seat as long as they are in a proper fitting seat or booster (except infants). My kids like this one but it promotes bickering, so for birthdays only

8. Don't pull over and stop for emergency vehicles

9. All emergency vehicles have blue (not red) blinking lights. This includes bomb rescue, search & rescue,  and blood transfusion vehicles

10. It is illegal to drive with snow on any car window (blocks vision), headlights, or license plate

11. It is illegal to use mobile phones

12. Motorcycles and bicycles can pass between cars and right down the center lane (this makes Nellie very nervous)

One common theme is traffic flow. Stop lights and stop signs are less common than yields and roundabouts. Many rules promote traffic to keep moving. I like that.

Another theme is courtesy. There is a chapter in the book dedicated to first aid, CPR, and signs of shock - in case of an accident you can help your fellow driver. And lots of details about being a polite driver. A friend of mine received a black mark on her driving test for driving through a puddle. If a pedestrian had been on the sidewalk, the person would have gotten wet. That's sort of sweet...

Safety precautions are everywhere. There are fire extinguishers and some sort of fire retardant sand at each gas pump. You never ever see a beat up car here - ALL cars are in pristine condition. Any car older than three years must endure a rigorous 'MOT' test, and if it doesn't pass, the car is deemed undriveable. No duct tape holding cars together here. Not one has a dent. I'm wondering if it is illegal for your car to be dirty too, because everyone's looks clean but mine :) -the car wash is a whole 'nother blog post-

Ideally, horses crossing a road should wear safety reflective bands around their 'ankles', and the rider should wear florescent reflective material.

So I told my husband that a herd of sheep should wear those reflective bands around their legs when crossing the road too - and he totally believed me! See how we have become accustomed to living here?! He didn't even question it.


Do you like my new ride? I want to be unforgettable at my exam ;) And popular

Recounting First Day Driving here
Nervous Nellie Gets A Drivers License, Part 1 here


Sue Jack said...

OMG!!! I'm rollin' on the floor, Laura! My favorites are the ankle reflectors on the sheep and I especially like the sidewalk half-car parking....totally remember that from Paris. But what's a gal to do when the street's only about 12 meters wide???

I send you lots of luck for passing your driving test....go get 'em, Girl! Oh, and do they drive on the "wrong side", too? That would totally blow my mind....in fact, that one would probably keep me from driving over there. I'm afraid I would be memorizing the bus routes instead of the driver's education manual. :)

Can't wait to read your post "post" test!


Jane said...

Oh, Nellie, er Laura, I wish you the best of British for Friday. I loved learning your road rules - most instructive! J x

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Good luck, Laura. I'll have my fingers crossed for you. And you still say 'sidewalk'? You can take a girl out of America but you can't take America out of a girl. ;-)

aka Super-Sleuth

Laura said...

I'm smiling reading this... I'd forgot all the little nuances about driving in the UK... even though I drive there every year... it's just the way it is. I have made so many errors driving here in the States... like when I didn't stop for a school bus. That was not received well and I didn't know what I had done until asking my Mother-in-law! Good luck for Friday Laura... You'll ace it! Lx

topchelseagirl said...

Good luck for Friday, I'm sure you'll pass with flying colours! x

La Vie Quotidienne said...

Good luck...I think that you are very brave.(-:

Emily said...

Laura, very best wishes for Friday! Can't wait to hear more; this post was absolutely fascinating to me. I wish we would adopt the following rules: "10. It is illegal to drive with snow on any car window (blocks vision), headlights, or license plate 11. It is illegal to use mobile phones." With all the snow and ice we've been experiencing this week, we're tired of being blasted by snow and ice from the car in front (that would also fall under the theme "courtesy" -- wish we'd adopt that attitude too!!!). Although, I'm so thankful that motorcycles and bicycles can NOT pass between cars and right down the center lane over here! Whew! Best wishes!

Privet and Holly said...

Good luck, Nellie...
er...Laura!! I know
you will ace it and
charm the pants of the
test person, to boot : )
I laughed at all of your
witty commentary. Thanks
for the smiles!!
xx Suzanne

Daydream Living said...

Well Nellie, it's Friday! So wish my friend Laura Good Luck!

Kris said...

Hi there. Really lovely blog. I found you on Expat Women website. I am currently studying to take my UK driving license exams.... I'm really nervous!