Event date: 13 January 2021
Those of us with teenage children of learner driver age know very well that we can call out for our kids at the top of our lungs and quite suddenly they are deaf. But the slightest jangle of keys and their sonar type hearing ability springs in to action and we are met by our child, L plates and log book in hand, with "Are we going out? Can I drive?".
This is the case with our 19 year old, Stephanie. By all intents and purposes she should already be licensed and driving solo but with her former school some distance from home, our limited time, followed by lockdowns, there was not much scope for driving practice. So Stephanie has had her learner's permit for just over 12 months and had just over five hours driving experience, most of which was confined to the car park at the university, and some very slow and quiet driving around where we live.
The opportunity to take part in the BMWDCM Mornington Peninsula drive came up and Stephanie volunteered to drive. With nothing to lose (apart from our minds) we agreed to her request to drive and Stephanie was to drive the trusty 118i. The rest of the family also took part in other cars, an M140i Finale and my eldest daughter with a MINI from her place of work. The 125i stayed home this time.
Driving at speeds greater than she was used to, driving in a group, watching out for the car in front and behind, hair pin bends, narrow country roads, unfamiliar territory, varying speed limits, negotiating a map and directions, it was quite tense and stressful at times, but Steph took it all in her stride and coped amazingly well with everything that was thrown at her. Once we reached the destination meeting point at Seawinds, Stephanie was still enthused to drive and chose to drive home too!
Apart from being a thoroughly enjoyable event and drive, it was tremendous practice and experience for Steph and the other learner drivers we saw taking part on the day.
Our grateful thanks to the Committee for organising this event and making us all feel so welcome.
A few words from Stephanie: "The drive to Arthur's Seat was a challenging one, especially for me as I only had 5 hours driving experience at the time. The sharp turns and fast (legal) speeds were a little scary at first, but by the end of the drive I felt more confident and more capable of driving. The whole experience was a lot of fun and a great learning experience for me. Although I was very scared at first, the drive gave me a lot of confidence and belief in myself that I can drive in all sorts of conditions. Thank you to the club organisers."
Michael Stuart | Member #626
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne