The dreaded L-board

The dreaded L-board

The dreaded L-board

New drivers on City roads often cause a lot of inconvenience to others.
Learning how to drive can always be stressful — sometimes, more so for others on the road. Every first-time driver commits his or her fair share of road crime, be it jumping lanes sans warning, breaking abruptly or crawling at a snail’s pace in fast-moving traffic.

And while they may argue that it’s imperative for them to learn how to handle the car-eat-car environment of Bangalore’s streets, it can be rather tiresome for other, already-frustrated drivers.

In fact, seeing the much-dreaded L-board is now simply an indication to overtake and put as much distance as possible between oneself and the naive newbie. Metrolife speaks to a few drivers to find out how this problem can be curbed.

Narendra Babu, a lawyer, admits to having witnessed many new drivers blunder along the road and cause inconvenience to others. “They jump signals, drive on the wrong side of the road and on one-ways. It’s silly for new drivers to start learning during peak traffic. Rather, they should find an empty space like a field to practise in, and venture onto main roads only after they have attained their licence,” he says.

Like many others, he puts a large part of the blame on driving institutes, claiming that since many of these instructors are ignorant in the ways of the road themselves, there’s not much they can teach their students.

Balraj, a cartoonist, adds, “Driving schools tend to focus only on business and convenience. They don’t like venturing far from the institute, because it’s a waste of petrol. Besides, they often slot two or three lessons one after the other, so they make their students drive to the next person’s house — regardless of the traffic on the road,” he explains.

 He himself learnt how to drive at one such institute, and describes the experience as nightmarish.

 “Once, my instructor forgot to fill petrol, so the car stalled right in the middle of a crowded main road. He simply asked me to go home and pulled the car to one side of the road, simply adding to the traffic,” he recollects.

He believes that first-time learners should avoid main roads and instead, stick to inner roads in colonies and residential areas.

“They can practice there and after getting proficient at driving, they can try tackling the main roads. Learning how to drive is a slow process. And besides, considering how bad traffic snarls in the City are, learners shouldn’t add to the congestion,” he says.

Ashwin, a professional, agrees with this opinion. “Learners should figure the best time and place for them to practice, so that they don’t cause hardship to other people on the road. It’s not fair to expect drivers to be patient with them. The congested roads already provide us with enough to worry about,” he concludes.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox