One of our local newspapers has a Beefs and Bouquets section that I often find entertaining. Many of the beefs concern drivers who don’t follow the rules but occasionally I scratch my head and wonder if the “beefer” might not need a bit of brushing up too.
What have you done in the recent past to learn something new or review what you already know about driving?
I’ve been driving for about 3 decades now and spent two of them in traffic law enforcement. One would think that I should have a pretty good grasp of the rules and practices in order to be a good driver. Perhaps I do, but when I sit down and do an on line practice test I don’t always get 100% of the questions right. Do you?
ICBC has two computer accessible tests, the On Line Practice Test for new drivers to use when studying to obtain their Learner’s class 7L or 8L licence and the Road Sign Recognition Test. Both consist of 25 random questions that give immediate feedback and the practice test questions link to the appropriate place in the driver’s manual for further information.
The Richmond Public Library hosts a test on their web site that you can configure to your needs before you start. The class of driver’s licence and number of test questions are chosen by the user before the test is generated.
The most comprehensive selection of tests can be found on the Complete School of Truck Transportation web site. As well as the usual driving rules and road signs, there are tests for air brakes, heavy trailer endorsement and house trailer endorsement.
ICBC has all the basic driving manuals on their web site to view or download to your computer of choice. Currently there are six publications for light vehicles, motorcycles, commercial vehicles and recreation trailer towing. If you would prefer a paper copy, they are available at your nearest Driver Service Center.
The last of the free driver training resources that I can think of is your local library. If they don’t have books and videos on the shelf, consult the librarian for an inter-library loan or assistance with the availability of e-books and e-videos.
Rather than spend money to use on-line driver training, you may be better advised to spend it locally with the driving school of your choice. An impartial assessment of your skills and identification of bad habits can point the way to safer driving.
I’ve seen the outcome of in car driving assessment in two different situations. The first involved a senior whose family was encouraging her to stop driving. A session with a driver trainer showed that she was still capable of driving safely and it was not yet time to stop. The second was where I made a deal with an irate driver to trade the cost of his speeding ticket for time at a driving school. He came away with a number of pointers to make him a safer driver and I was pleased that there might be better solutions than just writing tickets to offending drivers.
When you first received your licence, you possessed the minimum of safe skills for a driver. If you have not done something to learn more since then, it might be time to do something now.
Constable Tim Schewe (Retired)
DriveSmartBC: Where better than average drivers satisfy their curiosity.