Friday, June 19, 2009

Demolition D and Driver's Ed

This summer is quite busy!

Between normal working AND closing the store - there is Demolition D's schedule. He had a week off from choir tour and then has spent this week in Driver's Ed.

He. Was. Miserable.

Now, we have been working on driving since he obtained that wonderful permit to learn. The first 72 hours were great. Then reality hit and it has been an adventure.

The beginning of 2007, Georgia implemented Joshua's Law. Simply put, if you wish to drive at 16, you have to have driven 40 hours, including 6 hours of night driving, a workbook completed and each driving experience documented and signed off on. Or you can take a Driver's Ed Course, approved to meet Joshua's Law ($325). Or you can wait until you are 17. I really need him to be able to drive this fall.

I originally opted for the workbook. But I really wasn't sure about some of what they wanted. Then we had a re-ocurring issue. Red lights and left hand turns. The first time he tried to go through a red light, left hand turn, he said, with the most dumbfounded look, "I thought you could turn left on a red light?!" As I finished wondering what he had learned studying for the learner's exam, I explained to him that you cannot.

A week later, same interesection, I sat in the passenger's seat confident that my thorough explanation a week earlier had be clear. Clear as mud. He tried it again. Then got mad at me. Yes, I raised my voice. Once again reviewed the issue.

About a month later we were on our way to church and approached an intersection to make a left hand turn. The light was green, he entered the turning lane (a little too fast, as I told him to slow down, and he does not, I realize he is planning on turning. Right then. I say "there are cars coming!!" and he responds with "but the light is green!!"

No, he did not go through it. And I closed my mouth until after church. After church we discussed all that happened and then proceded with left hand turn driving. Every few blocks, a left hand turn was made. We made circles around this side of town, but we became very familiar with left hand turns.

We have set out on left hand turn drives a few times since.

But this made me rethink my signing off on this workbook or sending him to the Driver's Course.

The Driver's Course won. It also will help reduce his insurance.

Monday through today, he attended the classroom setting, 8:30 -3:00 daily. They were BORED out of their minds. He will only get 6 hours of driving with an instructor and that will be the last week of June. But we have been told this course met Joshua's Law's requirements. Well, except for the now added Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program (another class, another expense).

Today, he enlightened me. Today, as we drove out of the driveway, he says, "mom, you know what they told us? If I am driving and someone in the car does not have on their seatbelt, and I get stopped, I get a ticket for them not being buckled."

I looked at him dumbfounded. See, we have talked about this for years. Just earlier today, I realized he did not buckle, so I stopped the car and just sat there until he did (I don't say anything, I just sit - he knows I will continue to sit there until he does buckle). Will got a ticket when Ocho, probably 14, did not buckle and Will was pulled over. He received a ticket for Ocho not being buckled. That story has been told many times.

So I tell you this because I had this thought. I don't believe anything I say is actually being retained or taken into consideration. This kinda scares me. All this wisdom I have shared. All these scenarios to aid in his developing good decision making skills. Makes me wonder, what got through? I hope more than I think.


Teri said...

My daughter is going to turn 16 next month. She still has not driven yet because of not good grades. It makes me nervous, also. I worry about the same things you talk about here.

Crossing my fingers for all the teens who are tackling this new phase. Aaaaahhhh.

Jan the crazy lady said...

You are so funny, but I understand all the concerns.

Good luck with the busy summer ahead. It should be great.

FancyHorse said...

I remember those days well ~ that's when my hair started turning gray! My younger son did the same thing with left turns - did not watch for oncoming traffic. He finally did learn, though. The driver's license requirements were not so strict when my two were in school, it's probably a good thing they are.

Gayle said...

Oh, boy, this scares the heck out of me! My oldest has not shown any interest in getting his learners permit so far. He was eligible to get it when he turned 16 this past February. Our state hasn't got any requirements that I know of except passing the written test, taking a five hour classroom safety course and passing the driving test. It's kind of scary! I hope that D has taken in more of your wisdom than you think.

Random said...

Sometimes it just takes personal experience for the messages to sink in. I memorized the drivers' book, passed my written exam, and got a learner's licence - but didn't really understand until I started driving under the guidance of a good friend. At first, he told me where and when to turn, so that I could focus on the speed limit and steering. Over time, he helped me less and less, and I learned rules about turning and stopping (it takes several reminders to retain them!). The hardest part is practicing while avoiding danger - perhaps at night, or in areas that are not well-travelled?
Good luck!

Finding Pam said...

The best advice I can offer you is to let him drive as much as he can. It will improve his confidence level and he will get a lot more experience. You will know when he is ready.

I have to warn you for him to look out for the other drivers and to drive very defensively.

My youngest son has been hit twice by young drivers. Also, limit the number of kids in the car with him because that increases his chances for a wreck.

I don't know if this helps or not. Just some observations from driving with two sons.

I hope all is going smoothly for you.

Jane In The Jungle said...

D turns 15 today so soon he'll get his learners. I've been working with him in the church parking lot. He said yesterday he thinks it'll be awhile until he gets on the street, I did a "duh"!!
The left hand on green light even with cars coming was too funny...sorry!!

Anonymous said...

I imagine it's a scary time for parents but a very exciting time for teenagers. The legal age to drive is 17 over here but the test is much harder than it was when I learnt to drive.

CJ xx

DidiLyn said...

This sure brings back memories. Oh my! I don't envy you a bit right now.