Thursday, July 31, 2014

The NYS 5 Hour Driving Course Taught Me Nothing

I didn't get my license till I was 24. I will freely admit that, and after reading a recent article on Associated Content, it turns out I was not the only late bloomer when it came to driving, and the fears that held me back.
You see I had my permit for nearly 2 years, and would rely on other people for rides to and from work. Usually this always worked out great, but when I took on a new job with a new schedule, no one was able to taxi cab me around, and there was no way I was paying nearly $30 to get to work which is only a 15 minute drive away from home. I had no choice but to go out and get my license. In order to get it though I had to take their 5 hour driving course to get permission to take my driving test.
Here in the 5 hour course, I was supposed to learn the ins and outs of driving, and what to do under hazardous conditions such as rain, snow, sleet...and believe it or not...windy days.
Once the instructor went over a bunch of boring explanations, and boring videos made in the 70's the class was then able to ask questions about driving.
I still recall the day I freaked out on the road, and this incident caused me to fear driving all together. I was in the car with my cousin who was teaching me the ropes. I was not comfortable quite yet to bring myself to drive on any other roads besides back roads. I knew though, that to get to work, I was going to have to bring myself to get onto the highway, so she pretty much pushed me to do so.
I bravely inched my way out of the pond into the ocean. I was swimming with the big fish now, and I didn't want to. I liked my comfort zone. I liked my quiet back roads. I liked being the only one on the road. On the highway this was not going to happen. I knew this.
Anyways, I pulled out, and things were going great. I was driving, I was doing it. Suddenly though out of nowhere when I check my rear view I noticed a car so far up my tail that if I so much as tapped the breaks, this piece of S would hit me. I had no choice but to keep driving forward and to speed like a maniac just to get time to pull over and calm my nerves.
In class I asked about this incident in general. I asked what to do when someone is tailgating. The instructor told me to either tap the breaks slowly to warn the driver behind you, or to pull over to the side. However both solutions he gave were not helpful to me. Tapping my breaks would have guaranteed an accident, and pulling over was nearly impossible because pulling over meant tapping the breaks...which meant an accident. There was no avoiding speeding to get away from him. When I say speeding I mean going 80 in a 40, which was something I would normally never, ever do, but at the time I felt I had no choice.
I explained the situation to the instructor, and he basically ignored me and beat his way around the bush by changing the subject. Still the question is unanswered, and it pissed me off that I had payed $70 for this course that was supposedly set up to teach...not to leave me dumbfounded.
Then more questions were asked by me, and other students, and again he had no answers. I don't know if this is the way all instructors are, or if perhaps he was losing his grip on teaching the course, but I walked out with more unanswered questions than I had walked in with.
The next question was what to do when someone is following you, as in tailgating, riding their horn, and giving the finger. How to handle road rage basically. He told us in order to avoid a horrible incident such as getting into an accident, or having someone shoot you or bring physical violence would be to pull over and let the maniac pass. But then I asked him, what if the maniac doesn't pass, and he too pulls over and gets out of the car with a weapon. I asked, if I have the right to run someone over if they are yielding a weapon. I was told no, I can't run someone over.
But according to my brother who is a cop, if someone who is displaying road rage, stops their car and gets out flashing a gun or even a knife, you have the right to protect yourself, and that in fact you can run them over. Not saying you'd want to do that, but in all honesty is some strange person jumps out of their car and ever yields a weapon, my butt is running them the hell over. I have no ties to this person, and don't care what family and kids they have at mean to do me harm, I will kill you. However I found it odd, that my instructor told me no, I don't have the right to do so. What gives? So what am I to do, sit their and let him cut my neck or shot me in the face? Hell to the no man!
After hearing this answer on the matter, my mind was made up. This driving instructor was an A blank blank word followed by hole.
I was shocked really. Perhaps my questions were too difficult to answer, perhaps he was annoyed with me. I mean I was practically the only one in their in her 20's aside from past DUI offenses of those who lost their license's only to try and regain them. Everyone else was in their teens.
What really, really pissed me off about the whole incident was the fact that in order to be permitted to take your road test you had to 'graduate' this 5 hour course. This meant, if you fell asleep, or didn't pay attention you would be denied, and your $70 would not be reimbursed...fair enough right?
There was one teenager about 18 in the course that was asleep the entire time, and the instructor actually gave him his graduation certificate. This pissed me off, if I knew I could have slept the whole time and graduated anyway, I would have, instead of trying to keep alert to this boring old coot who couldn't answer a question without steering the conversation.
This kids money should have been kept, and he should have had to of taken the course all over again.
Goes to show that the 5 hour course is just another way NY State robs the people. You learn nothing, they pass you if you sleep; but so long as they are getting the payment, they don't give a crap. It's nothing more than more pure dog doodie.

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