Being on your Ls is a certified drag, especially if you live in a state that requires you fill out a logbook with an ungodly number of supervised hours. It is for a good reason though, with a proven link between safer roads and well-trained drivers; these regulations are in place with our safety in mind. Still, it hasn’t stopped people from realising how much of a ball-ache the whole thing is- not even the government. There are a couple of initiatives in place to assist with filling your logbook hours and completing these along with the rest of our tips means you’ll be well on your way to getting your Ps.
1. Safer Drivers Course
The Safer Drivers Course is for those of you in NSW and is a program targeted to young drivers to promote safe driving behaviours, risk reduction and effective decision making. It is a five-hour course that consists of both theory and practice, and those that have already have 50 hours under their belt are credited a bonus 20 hours upon completion. It’s a good way to knock off a massive chunk of your logbook hours and is usually a pretty good option if you’re confident in your driving but can’t quite get all your hours up with just mum and dad.
2. Lessons with an instructor
Driving with an instructor is hectic because there’s always going to be somebody available to teach you when you’re free, and they’re generally going to be much better teachers than your parents. Not only will you avoid getting yelled at while controlling 1,500 kilos of metal, but each hour with a certified instructor is worth an extra two, applicable for 10 instructed hours (30 hours in the logbook in total).
3. Set a routine
Setting aside regular time for driving means it no longer becomes a chore and is instead just something you do every week, like soccer practice or complaining about school. Being consistent also means you know how many hours you do each week, and thus how many weeks it’ll take to complete the logbook. Breaking down the goal like this helps tackle the challenge and instead of seeing it as a huge 100+ hour task, you get to see it as just driving for 3-4 hours every week, or whatever it is you can commit to.
4. Say yes to everything (even if you’re knee-deep in a Netflix binge)
Even if you’ve set up a strict schedule for driving lessons, any opportunity to tack on extra hours should be seen as bloody golden. Obviously I’m not saying it should take priority over everything in your life, but people offering to take you driving is a pretty nice gesture and you should respond accordingly.
5. Tag along with your parents to everything
Consider it pay back for every time they might have driven you to school or netball practice or whatever. Plus, you totally get to do that hilarious thing where you pretend you’re the parent dropping off the child and remind them to at least message if they’re going to stay out late, and to not doing anything you wouldn’t.
6. Road trip
Once you’re pretty confident on the road, getting your hours up can be a pretty solid excuse for a road trip. Whether it’s going to a far-away beach for a day, or to visit your nan out in the sticks, these journeys can take off a huge chunk of hours in your logbook. Plus, it can help motivate you to get your licence quicker so you can do these trips without your dad in tow.
Another NSW based program; keys2drive is a free, introductory driving course for you and your parent/friend/big brother/whoever is going to teach you to drive. It’s just an hour but it’s a good place to start your path to getting your license. You and your mum can get in the car and watch while an accredited driving instructor provides a practical demonstration and shows you the ropes. Look, it’s not a regular driving lesson and there’s a tonne of safety stuff and tips for whoever is teaching you to drive which can make some of the lesson a bit of a drag. But it’s worth three log book hours, will teach you the basics and is totally free- so you’ve got nothing to lose.