Thursday, March 3, 2011


Learner drivers are required to display L plates on their cars.  There's a good reason for this - it alerts the rest of us to expect sudden stops, starts and stalls.  It's shorthand for: "I don't have a clue and my dad is screaming at me.  Just stay out of the bloody way!".  

There really should be a system of alerting other road users that the person driving the car is from Lord Howe Island where there's only about 5km of road and a speed limit of 25km per hour.  On Lord Howe, the most important road rules are: (a) wave; (b) don't run over small children riding bikes; (c) it is acceptable to stop the car in the middle of the road for a chat with someone who is driving in the opposite direction; and (d) there is no time limit on rule (c).  

I've never been a good driver.  My eyesight isn't great.  I learnt to drive at Lord Howe and didn't buy my first car until I was nearly 30.  I have a long history of backing cars into trees and scraping them along gutters and in parking stations.  When I worked for a large law firm in Sydney, I crashed my boss's car.  I still can't talk about it.  It's probably my most humiliating memory.  

It hurts me to admit that since moving to Lord Howe, my driving has deteriorated even further.  I even backed Luke's car into a post at our house.  It was the only post for several kilometres.  Who knows what I will do in Sydney where everyone drives so fast.  Perhaps I should keep my hazard lights on at all times and install a loud siren on the roof of the car ... or just make up some "LHI" plates. 

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