Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Learning to drive in GDL?

Remember Sesame Street?  You are probably wondering how these 2 things go together?  Well, here in Mexico, they do.  How? .... .... let me tell you what Mexican parents have told me.

They would say that giving your vehicle to your teenager, to go out with friends, is like handing them an AK 47!  That is quite a loaded statement and you might be wondering exactly what they mean.  

I clearly remember when our sons hit that magic age, of being able to sign up for drivers ed., so they could drive as soon as possible.  I remember them passing their tests and wanting to practice.  I remember quite clearly them taking the car on their own to go somewhere.  I would say it is a normal, fairly simple, rite of passage.  Now, I come from somewhat rural Manitoba, a 'city' of around 15,000.  Not much fear for me.  And both boys purchased their own cars at 16 years of age.

I think if I was the parent of teenagers here in GDL I would have a similar view to that of parents here.  The fact that the city has 4-7 million people tends to make the traffic scenarios a little more severe.  Add to that the WAY people here drive.  One has to drive paying attention to EVERY OTHER DRIVER!  You pay attention to not only what the traffic laws allow them to do, but also what they might possible do any way.  Is it legal to make a left hand turn from the extreme right hand lane?  No.  Do they do it?  Yes, often.  Does a red light mean stop, and a green one go?  Mostly, but often up to 4 cars will run any given red, still trying to get thru!  Then, add to that that the speed limit is a nebulous thing, people drive while on their cell phones, and every one is late for something!  Would you give your 16 year old your car to go out with friends?  Would you not say you were putting a weapon in your teen's hands when handing over the keys?  

Most teens are still chauffeured around by a parent even though they have their learners.  They seem to take it in stride.  Our sons are excellent drivers (much better than their mother) but I can't say I would hand them my car keys here, EVEN NOW!  I guess we'll see when they come for a visit.

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