Bullying a New Driver

No Road SenseIt was not uncommon to be told that a new driver sign was not being displayed because adults took the sign as a signal to bully the new driver. I thought that was just a convenient excuse to give the policeman when you couldn't be bothered to make sure that the required sign was in place. After all, who wouldn't realize that a new driver deserved more room and a little leeway for mistakes because they were just beginning their driving career?

Fast forward to today's drive home from work. I looked left to see that I had been overtaken by a Jeep being driven by a driver displaying the N of a novice driver. That driver wasn't significantly over the speed limit but it was the behaviour of the adult piloting the four wheel drive pickup twice the size of that Jeep following behind it that upset me. There was about 2 meters of space between their bumpers at 80+ km/h. While the Jeep was centered in the fast lane, the truck was half on the left shoulder and half in the fast lane. He wanted by NOW!

This "adult" probably realized that they would be less likely to face consequences for their aggressive driving because young drivers rarely report it to police. In fact, I did not often investigate a driving incident of this nature where the complainant, young or old, was willing to back up a request for charges with a court appearance. If traffic enforcement is not present to intervene, this is the only way that the offending driver can be sanctioned for their disregard of others.

For this novice, the lesson learned may not have been a good one. Adults cannot be trusted to do the right thing in traffic, youth are taken advantage of or perhaps even that it does not matter how you drive, as long as you don't crash there's nothing to worry about. Instead, I hope that the resolve was not to drive like this inconsiderate bully because driving safely matters to us all.


Submitted by E-Mail

Thank you for saying what I as a parent of an N driver wants people to hear. Don't bully the young drivers. In most cases, they are the ones driving better, shoulder checking, minding the speed limit and signalling when they should. They've all had alot more training than we had to pass our tests 20 or so years ago. I've had three kids with L's and N's over the past three years and i know people are impatient with new drivers. My hope is that adults will give youth a break while they're learning to dirve. After all, we were all novices at one time, weren't we?

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