Monday, 21 October 2013

Driving Lessons Reading

Learning To Drive Around The World.

Here's some interesting facts about learning to drive from around the world including, learners in Brazil being taught defensive driving techniques to avoid "Car-Jacking".

• In Finland, it takes a minimum of two years to obtain a full, unrestricted driving licence. Learners are subjected to skid-pan sessions and night-driving courses. Difficult as it is to compare driving tests, Finland is, anecdotally at least, considered to have a world-class standard of driving.

• Some states in the US can issue ‘driver's permits' to teen drivers as young as 14 and half; for example the Idaho Transportation Department requires the completion of a six-month ‘Graduated Driver's Licence' programme to anyone under 17 who has not been issued a full driver's licence, the terms of which include being accompanied by a supervising person who's at least 21.

• No country requires you to be over the age of 18 to obtain a driving licence, although some US states will not grant you a full, unrestricted licence until you are 21. Most US driver's licenses are valid for between four and five years.

• Driving tests in Japan are also conducted off-road, but on purpose built courses with simulated roads, rather than in a deserted car park.

• In Saudi Arabia, women are not permitted to hold driving licences.

• In some countries it is illegal to drive on a foreign licence. The punishment for doing so in Vietnam is a fine of 1000dong, or $9.50.

• Provisional licence holders in France are required to have completed a minimum of two years worth of training, covering no less than 3000km. They are also subjected to reduced speed-limits (110kph rather than 130 on the Autoroutes, for example.).

• In many countries, new drivers are required by law to pass a medical, and must have had their eyes examined by an approved practitioner (In UK, the instructor will informally ask you immediately before the examination to read a number-plate from a distance of 20 metres).

• Until recently, India's driving test consisted of driving forwards through a pair of cones, and then reversing straight back through said cones. Some regions substituted cones for painted lines on the tarmac, as they were getting through too many (today, India's driving test is more conventional).

• Only recently has Nigeria made taking a driving test compulsory. Previously, licences could be obtained for a fee of $30.

• In the Philippines, a full-licence is called a ‘Professional Licence'.

• Australia's Northern Territory limits learners to 80kph - less than 50mph - in all instances.

• Restricted Licence holders in New Zealand are allowed to drive unsupervised between the hours of 5:00am and 10:00pm, and carry only specific passengers like their spouse or parents.

• A Norwegian ‘S' licence permits its holder to drive snowmobiles specifically.

• The waiting time for a driving test in some large South African cities is more than four months.

• Some countries require drivers to study first-aid. The Swiss must complete a first-aid course before they're able to apply for a provisional licence.

• In Russia (incidentally, one of the very first countries to adopt the driving licence), drivers must possess a ‘certificate of mental fitness' and not have a history of substance abuse. Similarly, in Brazil, drivers have to pass a psychological exam before obtaining a licence.

• As car-jacking is so prevalent in Brazil, learners are taught defensive driving techniques. Like the UK, Brazil uses a points-based system. Offences are separated into categories, earning the driver anywhere between three and seven points. If a driver accumulates more than 20 points in the space of a year, they are disqualified for between one and 24 months.

For straight forward advice on learning to drive in the Reading area give MSM Driving School a call on 01189612055 or drop us an email at

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