Sunday, August 23

Training Future Motorists

As y'all may know, I have definite preferences when it comes to how motorists pass me when I'm on my bike. I like LOTS of clearance. Tonight, I took my daughter, Aurora, out for a driving lesson. On our way home, I saw a cyclist. Initially, it looked like she might be a vehicular cyclist. Unfortunately, she was going the opposite direction. Luckily, inspiration struck! This was an opportunity to instill some proper passing behavior and even a little "this is a good way to ride a bike" propaganda at the same time. So I extended the driving lesson.

Well, we got turned around and eventually caught up to the lady on the bike. The lady turned out to be a triathlete and pretty close to the gutter pan, but I explained that the safe thing to do was to always make a full lane change well back of the cyclist so the lane change would be smooth and safe. That way, we'd just slide by without any problems at all. And so it was. I also explained that's why she ought to ride further left in such lanes - so any motorists whose parents hadn't taught them to drive properly would still make a safe maneuver.

My daughter exclaimed that it turned out to be pretty easy. And her face in the picture above shows it. First successful pass of a cyclist. I think that was a bigger thrill than getting to merge onto the freeway for the first time.

Perhaps, in addition to questions on the written exam about cyclists, the actual driving test ought to employ a couple of "ringers" so the driving examiner can establish the applicant is able to drive safely...

8 comments:

Doohickie said...

"Actual driving test"? You know that's no longer required in Texas, right?

Steve A said...

Actually I DIDN'T know you don't have to actually show you can drive! I'm not sure I am happy to learn this, though it probably did little good even when driving tests WERE given. Certainly driver's ed hasn't helped very much...

Rantwick said...

Doohickie, please tell me you're joking. How are drivers certified in Texas?

ChipSeal said...

Heck, it is estimated that 2,700,000 Texans are driving illegally. El Paso County published the names of all the folks who had warrants due to failure to pay "driver responsibility" fines. (It results in suspension of driving privileges and and a warrant for your arrest is issued.) The list was 78,000 names long! 11% of the counties population!

http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_13001380?IADID=Search-www.elpasotimes.com-www.elpasotimes.com

There seems to be a lot more scofflaw motorist behavior going on then is generally let on!

Big Oak said...

Congratulations Steve on training a new cycle-respecting motorist. My daughter gives plenty of room to cyclists also.

Doohickie said...

Steve,

If you want your daughter to take a driving test, you, as her dad, can request it. For the rest of the kids, though, 6 months behind the wheel along with either driver's ed or the parent-taught driver course is all it takes.

Steve A said...

By the time my daughter gets her license and actually gets to USE it, I'm gonna be satisfied. No bikes sighted tonight other than a wrong-way sidewalk rider and a couple hitching a ride on top of a car.

Steve A said...

Effective September 1st, Texas requires a driving exam for anyone getting a permit after that date. My daughter thinks she's lucky, but she still has to satisfy "the Dad."

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