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Student driver signs? Partly JAWM


kbutton
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Are these legal to use if you aren’t a driving school?

I’m finding out just how nasty people are while teaching my younger kid to drive. We had some mild issues when my older one was learning also (he got flipped off while driving very smoothly at the speed limit down a rural and nearly empty road the very first time we let him drive on a larger road—he was driving impeccably), but I think things are just getting worse. 

I don’t know if a student driver sign would help or make people mad.

People unrealistically think that no one near them would ever need to change lanes or cross traffic for a turn—we’re talking suburbia, not the highway. 

And a PSA (this is the JAWM): people in cars cannot see around an SUV or big-butt truck that is tailgating them. If you’re in one and doing that, honking your horn doesn’t make you suddenly transparent, but leaving some room does give the car in front of you some space to see so that they can navigate safely!!! And pulling up on the right of a car turning left and blocking their view is also not helpful. If you can see over the top of a car, you don’t have to pull halfway into the intersection while waiting to turn. If a series of big vehicles does this one after another, the car is effectively disabled. Honking from behind in this situation also does not make cars suddenly transparent, nor does it make left turns with no red lights disappear. None of us like turning left at those spots anymore than the people honking do. 

 

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In Australia, it is illegal to drive without specified L (learner) signs displayed on both the front and back of the car. It is a big black L on a yellow backing, and it is usually suction or static cling or magnetic.

Once the learner has passed their driving test, they then need to use P (provisional) signs for several years. 

So our new drivers are absolutely visible for several years, by law.

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1 hour ago, kbutton said:

I don’t know if a student driver sign would help or make people mad.

I think student driver signs are stupid.

Here's why.  You don't want people to alter their driving behavior around your kid.  You want your kid to have to deal with all of the stuff the idiot drivers out there can throw at them.  This would include the words and gestures of other drivers reacting to your kid's poor driving.  If your kid's driving is so bad that it infuriates other drivers to the point of violence, then your kid is not ready to be driving on crowded streets yet.  No student driver sign is going to help with that.

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18 minutes ago, 73349 said:

We, like many families around here, use bright yellow magnets bought online. (They came in a 3-pack, so when DS is driving, there's one on the back of the car and one on each front door.)

Same, though we have only one on the back of each car. The magnets are good, bc we take them off when our kid is not driving.

Edited by ScoutTN
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8 minutes ago, EKS said:

I think student driver signs are stupid.

Here's why.  You don't want people to alter their driving behavior around your kid.  You want your kid to have to deal with all of the stuff the idiot drivers out there can throw at them.  This would include the words and gestures of other drivers reacting to your kid's poor driving.  If your kid's driving is so bad that it infuriates other drivers to the point of violence, then your kid is not ready to be driving on crowded streets yet.  No student driver sign is going to help with that.

I disagree. When my kid is learning, I want people to be nicer and more patient and more careful. He’ll have to deal with all the idiots and bad drivers eventually, but new drivers are learning a zillion things at once. Let him get to the intermediate stage and have some skills and experience under his belt before throwing him in the deep end. 

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5 minutes ago, ScoutTN said:

I disagree. When my kid is learning, I want people to be nicer and more patient and more careful. He’ll have to deal with all the idiots and bad drivers eventually, but new drivers are learning a zillion things at once. Let him get to the intermediate stage and have some skills and experience under his belt before throwing him in the deep end. 

That's why you don't throw them into the deep end until they are ready.  But you don't keep them out of the deep end by hoping that other drivers will alter their behavior.

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23 minutes ago, EKS said:

I think student driver signs are stupid.

Here's why.  You don't want people to alter their driving behavior around your kid.  You want your kid to have to deal with all of the stuff the idiot drivers out there can throw at them.  This would include the words and gestures of other drivers reacting to your kid's poor driving.  If your kid's driving is so bad that it infuriates other drivers to the point of violence, then your kid is not ready to be driving on crowded streets yet.  No student driver sign is going to help with that.

Vehemently disagree.

Learning to drive is exhausting as they are learning so many new things at one time.

Once they've built the muscle memory of the basics, they have more capacity to deal with a$$holes.

Other drivers getting infuriated to the point of violence is a them problem and those people should not be on the roads if they don't have the patience to be out where humanity lives and drives. They need to stay home and never get behind the wheel of a car, ever.

Edited by fraidycat
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7 minutes ago, EKS said:

That's why you don't throw them into the deep end until they are ready.  But you don't keep them out of the deep end by hoping that other drivers will alter their behavior.

Some people live in the deep end and if their kid is ever gonng to learn to drive, it is what it is.

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4 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Some people live in the deep end and if their kid is ever gonng to learn to drive, it is what it is.

Please. If you live in the “deep end” traffic-wise, it is your responsibility to take your new driver to safe places to learn & practice until they have enough basic skills to handle the traffic where they live.

 

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12 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Some people live in the deep end and if their kid is ever gonng to learn to drive, it is what it is.

I grew up in Los Angeles, definitely deep end territory.  My first attempts at driving were done well outside of the city.  It didn't help that our car had a manual transmission.

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I ordered signs that I hope stick well—magnets won’t work on our car.

I think I’m going to bow out because I’m not up to being told that I am putting my kid in the deep end.

I appreciate those responding with some thoughtfulness about all the things new drivers are doing. This child happens to be challenged with knowing where he is, and he knew this route, making it safer than many alternatives with similar reasonable traffic.

20 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Some people live in the deep end and if their kid is ever gonng to learn to drive, it is what it is.

And the converse: many kids live rurally and encounter this level of traffic for the first time with zero bumper guards so to speak. I was a really good driver in snow and all kinds of challenging conditions as a college student, but everything was very different outside my small community. We couldn’t just take long trips so that I could practice. We did what we could within a couple of hours of home. 

The fact that we can’t expect people to drive safely must be balanced with the learning itself. 

50 minutes ago, EKS said:

If your kid's driving is so bad that it infuriates other drivers to the point of violence, then your kid is not ready to be driving on crowded streets yet. 

It isn’t.

 

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8 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I ordered signs that I hope stick well—magnets won’t work on our car.

I think I’m going to bow out because I’m not up to being told that I am putting my kid in the deep end.

I appreciate those responding with some thoughtfulness about all the things new drivers are doing. This child happens to be challenged with knowing where he is, and he knew this route, making it safer than many alternatives with similar reasonable traffic.

And the converse: many kids live rurally and encounter this level of traffic for the first time with zero bumper guards so to speak. I was a really good driver in snow and all kinds of challenging conditions as a college student, but everything was very different outside my small community. We couldn’t just take long trips so that I could practice. We did what we could within a couple of hours of home. 

The fact that we can’t expect people to drive safely must be balanced with the learning itself. 

It isn’t.

 

The bolded are basically my kids. But I know many who live in the middle of traffic and it seems rather…insensitive to tell single moms and other struggling folks who barely have time to teach their kids to drive that they owe it to the world to continually drive hours out of their way just to avoid hateful rude aggressive drivers and teach their kids to drive.
 

 

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1 hour ago, EKS said:

I think student driver signs are stupid.

Here's why.  You don't want people to alter their driving behavior around your kid.  You want your kid to have to deal with all of the stuff the idiot drivers out there can throw at them.  This would include the words and gestures of other drivers reacting to your kid's poor driving.  If your kid's driving is so bad that it infuriates other drivers to the point of violence, then your kid is not ready to be driving on crowded streets yet.  No student driver sign is going to help with that.

I disagree. There’s nothing wrong with easing into it a wee bit. Everywhere is congested around here so it’s not like they have anywhere BUT highly trafficked areas to figure it out. It’s okay to act like a society. The kids are learning as fast as they can. It’s okay to give them a beat before laying on the horn. Without the sign you might assume an experienced driver just isn’t paying attention and act differently. More information is better. 

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Just now, KungFuPanda said:

There’s nothing wrong with easing into it a wee bit.

You're not easing into it.  You're hoping that people will be nice when they see the sign.  Frankly, unless they're right behind you, most people won't even notice the sign.  It's always a bad idea to try to fix a problem in a way that involves controlling the behavior of other people.

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I never used them with my boys ages now 25, 23, and 21 but I do have them for my 15 yo dd. I have just found people to be so much more aggressive now I just figured there might be occasions someone would cut us some slack if they knew it was a kid learning.

I think the time that made me determined to get them was when I was letting her drive in a nearly empty mall parking lot. We stopped at a four way stop (in the nearly empty lot) and another driver didn’t like how long she paused at the stop sign before she started again and honked and waved his arms at us. I thought if you can’t teach your kid to drive in an empty lot how can you ever teach them? Surely everyone knows they have to learn somehow and surely if the guy knew I had a 15 yo new driver he would chill?

Another time my dd made a terrible lane change that was the closest I have ever been to an accident and I thought maybe the other car would have given more space if they had been warned I had a learner driving.

So we got the magnets. Lots of cars at my dd’s school have them.

Funny- I told my dd to find one and put it in my Amazon cart and she put one in that said “Please be patient. My teenage daughter is learning to drive and there is already one person yelling at her.” I didn’t buy that one but I did laugh.

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5 minutes ago, EKS said:

You're not easing into it.  You're hoping that people will be nice when they see the sign.  Frankly, unless they're right behind you, most people won't even notice the sign.  It's always a bad idea to try to fix a problem in a way that involves controlling the behavior of other people.

It’s a situation with a lot of variables. If the sign gets a car or two off your ass, it’s worth having. It certainly can’t hurt nor will it alter the student driver’s performance in any way, so there’s no real down side beyond someone occasionally thinking it’s stupid. 

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6 minutes ago, EKS said:

 It's always a bad idea to try to fix a problem in a way that involves controlling the behavior of other people.

Oh, you mean like by putting up stop signs and traffic lights? Or maybe yield signs? Why not erase all the lines on the road and let people drive south in a northbound lane? 

I really do need to leave the thread.

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I got magnets.  I do think I lucked out because L started learning to drive right about when things shut down in 2020-which meant that there were a LOT of empty parking lots and not-busy roads for several months, and even the interstate at rush hour wasn't the "deep end" for a bit. 

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16 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

I got magnets.  I do think I lucked out because L started learning to drive right about when things shut down in 2020-which meant that there were a LOT of empty parking lots and not-busy roads for several months, and even the interstate at rush hour wasn't the "deep end" for a bit. 

We did that with my older one but not as quickly as we should have. He still got flipped off in the middle of nowhere!

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My state gives everyone a Student Driver sticker when they pass their temporary driver test.  We didn't use ours, mainly because I was too lazy to bother with it, but I can't imagine it being illegal ... even if you already have a license.  What would they charge you with?

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1 hour ago, EKS said:

That's why you don't throw them into the deep end until they are ready.  But you don't keep them out of the deep end by hoping that other drivers will alter the.

IME there are plenty of other drivers who are too unobservant to even notice a "student driver" sign.  So there's plenty of opportunity for learners to find out how dumb and nasty other drivers can be.  There's nothing wrong with a gradual introduction IMO.

That said, most drivers are so nice.  Even without a sign, when my kids have made a really dumb mistake, everyone around figured out they must be learning and gave a wide berth and just minded their own business beyond that.  I was very grateful.  For that matter, I've made some dumb mistakes in my 40 years of experienced driving.  I am happy to be given grace too ... and in turn, I give as much as I can.

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47 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

The bolded are basically my kids. But I know many who live in the middle of traffic and it seems rather…insensitive to tell single moms and other struggling folks who barely have time to teach their kids to drive that they owe it to the world to continually drive hours out of their way just to avoid hateful rude aggressive drivers and teach their kids to drive.
 

 

Driving is a privilege.

People learning to drive need to learn in a safe environment, inconvenient or not. It has nothing to do with hateful rude drivers…it has to do with keeping everyone on the road as safe as possible. 

such drama…single moms, strugggling folk, hooooooours out of their way…
 


 

 

 

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Like why isn't it a given that throwing a tantrum in a car is never the thing to do?  People who are too impulsive to control their reactions are more dangerous drivers than most learners on the road IMO.

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3 hours ago, kbutton said:

Are these legal to use if you aren’t a driving school?

I’m finding out just how nasty people are while teaching my younger kid to drive. We had some mild issues when my older one was learning also (he got flipped off while driving very smoothly at the speed limit down a rural and nearly empty road the very first time we let him drive on a larger road—he was driving impeccably), but I think things are just getting worse. 

I don’t know if a student driver sign would help or make people mad.

People unrealistically think that no one near them would ever need to change lanes or cross traffic for a turn—we’re talking suburbia, not the highway. 

And a PSA (this is the JAWM): people in cars cannot see around an SUV or big-butt truck that is tailgating them. If you’re in one and doing that, honking your horn doesn’t make you suddenly transparent, but leaving some room does give the car in front of you some space to see so that they can navigate safely!!! And pulling up on the right of a car turning left and blocking their view is also not helpful. If you can see over the top of a car, you don’t have to pull halfway into the intersection while waiting to turn. If a series of big vehicles does this one after another, the car is effectively disabled. Honking from behind in this situation also does not make cars suddenly transparent, nor does it make left turns with no red lights disappear. None of us like turning left at those spots anymore than the people honking do. 

 

I INSIST on them for our new drivers. They really do make sure people give them a wide berth and more grace.

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And yes, start the kids on super safe roadways first etc.  I certainly did that - we took forever before I allowed my kids out of a tiny cul-de-sac.  But kids are still gonna make mistakes.  Every time they graduate to a slightly more complex road, they're going to meet new stuff and not react perfectly and instantly.  You can't plan for everything.  If you think otherwise, perhaps you haven't recently spent 100+ hours in the passenger seat with a teen driver.  😛

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1 minute ago, Sneezyone said:

I INSIST on them for our new drivers. They really do make sure people give them a wide berth and more grace.

I didn't use one for DS, but I love seeing them widely used. I'm a driver who tends to give space and patience anyway (seriously, we live in a small town, why is anyone in a hurry?) but I definitely give even more when I see the stickers/magnets. I've sat through whole green lights when they just don't start moving in time in front of me, lol.

 I'd hate to think new drivers get extra flak--they are under enough pressure as it is! 

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We live in a suburban environment with LOTS of newbies behind the wheel. I *wish* more parents put the dang magnets on the car instead of assuming we can see their cherubic faces behind tinted windows. I’ve seen multiple accidents featuring teen drivers on  typical suburban streets.

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I used them with all 5 of my kids.  I think I ordered them from Amazon back then.  They did seem to help in our area.  People went around us.  Some would pull up beside to get a look at the "Student Driver", and then drive on by.  This was on a 4-lane, divided highway with a huge median.

We lived about 30 miles out of town, so dc got plenty of practice on country roads before tackling the city driving.

I've never heard of the yellow magnets.  I had to google it because I don't think I've ever seen them in this area.  We had magnetic signs that I stuck on the front, sides, and back of the car.  They said "Student Driver". 

Edited by kathyl
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3 hours ago, EKS said:

I think student driver signs are stupid.

Here's why.  You don't want people to alter their driving behavior around your kid.  You want your kid to have to deal with all of the stuff the idiot drivers out there can throw at them.  This would include the words and gestures of other drivers reacting to your kid's poor driving.  If your kid's driving is so bad that it infuriates other drivers to the point of violence, then your kid is not ready to be driving on crowded streets yet.  No student driver sign is going to help with that.

I disagree.  Maybe if you could count on the other drivers on the road being good drivers who were patient when someone is actually following the rules of the road, like speed limits and stopping before turning right on red and making sure they have proper space before making a left turn, etc.   But there are a lot of impatient a$$holes on the road who will do aggressive, stupid, unsafe things and are very quick to become 'infuriated' for no reason, just because they are impatient and think they rule the roads.  If a sign or magnet can make them think twice about being a jacka$$, then I'm all for it.  

I do agree that no sign is going to help if someone is just a moron as well as an a$$hole and doesn't care that their obnoxious unpredictable behavior, tailgating, trying to pass illegally and being super aggressive is more likely to cause an accident.  

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I don't think that anyone who is going to drive obnoxiously, honk unnecessarily or flip someone off.....will care at all about a Student Driver sticker. 

 

My kids learned to drive in a large city and honestly, the jerks were few and far in-between. Not enough to get worked up about and those couple of people, would have acted the same either way. 

 

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16 minutes ago, Wheres Toto said:

I do agree that no sign is going to help if someone is just a moron as well as an a$$hole and doesn't care that their obnoxious unpredictable behavior, tailgating, trying to pass illegally and being super aggressive is more likely to cause an accident.

Right.  So what is the purpose of the student driver sign again?

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I've seen them on cars driving around. I give them a little extra space and grace. 

As for proper driving, I'd also like to suggest that stopping 5 inches from my back bumper at stop signs/stop lights is not a good idea. Leave more space. I have a manual transmission, and I'm very good at not rolling back on hills when starting from a dead stop, but give me a little room. There are still manual transmissions out there (some of us are driving them through choice!), so leave more space. This was an issue when my oldest was learning to drive my car.  Hint - I drive a Honda Accord -which you would think was automatic - but the big SPORT on the right back side = manual transmission (or at least it used to!). 

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26 minutes ago, Bambam said:

I've seen them on cars driving around. I give them a little extra space and grace. 

As for proper driving, I'd also like to suggest that stopping 5 inches from my back bumper at stop signs/stop lights is not a good idea. Leave more space. I have a manual transmission, and I'm very good at not rolling back on hills when starting from a dead stop, but give me a little room. There are still manual transmissions out there (some of us are driving them through choice!), so leave more space. This was an issue when my oldest was learning to drive my car.  Hint - I drive a Honda Accord -which you would think was automatic - but the big SPORT on the right back side = manual transmission (or at least it used to!). 

DD learned in and drives a manual transmission car. She has the same complaints but she learned during the pandemic with fewer drivers in general. Post-pandemic, drivers and consumers are much, much, much worse. 

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My Dd said she noticed the difference in other drivers’ behavior when she took the magnet off her car. We let our kids keep the magnet on for quite a while after they get their license. Still a new driver with much to learn. 

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6 hours ago, EKS said:

I think student driver signs are stupid.

Here's why.  You don't want people to alter their driving behavior around your kid.  You want your kid to have to deal with all of the stuff the idiot drivers out there can throw at them.  This would include the words and gestures of other drivers reacting to your kid's poor driving.  If your kid's driving is so bad that it infuriates other drivers to the point of violence, then your kid is not ready to be driving on crowded streets yet.  No student driver sign is going to help with that.

Strong disagree. You're not painting them on the car, they're magnets. You can use them at first and then take them off. There's no magical way to get ready to be driving on crowded streets, you just have to drive on crowded streets. 

6 hours ago, EKS said:

That's why you don't throw them into the deep end until they are ready.  But you don't keep them out of the deep end by hoping that other drivers will alter their behavior.

There is no way to get into the deep end of driving other than . . . getting into the deep end of driving. You can practice for years on quiet suburban streets, and that is not going to make you ready for the deep end of crowded city traffic or the interstate.

5 hours ago, EKS said:

You're not easing into it.  You're hoping that people will be nice when they see the sign.  Frankly, unless they're right behind you, most people won't even notice the sign.  It's always a bad idea to try to fix a problem in a way that involves controlling the behavior of other people.

The driving schools and parents around here put a sign on the back and on each side. Regardless, it's okay to do something that helps just a little bit. ime, people are quite nice when they see the sign. That doesn't mean anyone is telling their student driver to slack off because they have signs, lol, they're still doing their best. 

2 hours ago, EKS said:

Right.  So what is the purpose of the student driver sign again?

The purpose is to alert the majority of drivers who are not completely obnoxious and aggressive. A lot of them will give, as @Bambam said, a little extra space and grace.  If a student driver is near me, I'm treating them with extra care and extra space. Most impatient drivers are pretty good people most of the time, and willing to be a bit nicer to novice drivers. 

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7 hours ago, Indigo Blue said:

People are so impatient with new and elderly drivers. It’s so disheartening. 

Actually, they are impatient with everyone: other drivers regardless of age, car break downs, pedistrians, police, tow truck driver just doing his job, the cat in the road, the kid trying to get to school. The entitlement mentality takes over a large number of people when getting in a vehicle and they end up with a bad case of main character syndrome. 

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9 hours ago, chocolate-chip chooky said:

In Australia, it is illegal to drive without specified L (learner) signs displayed on both the front and back of the car. It is a big black L on a yellow backing, and it is usually suction or static cling or magnetic.

Once the learner has passed their driving test, they then need to use P (provisional) signs for several years. 

So our new drivers are absolutely visible for several years, by law.

The L is compulsory in the UK. The P is optional. 

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Here's the thing. For most people, their attitude when driving (as at other times) is based on the story in their minds. "I'm late for work" = faster driving and less patience, for example.

Now, what story will they tell themselves when my 16yo is driving 42 in a 45 zone and taking turns slowly? Without the magnets, they may assume that he's texting or otherwise inattentive. With the magnets, they're informed that he's just a beginner, as they once were. This is an opportunity to revise their inner story that relies less on their personal maturity. If they want to go around, it's fine, and some do, but they're not mad about it, so they don't aggressively pull close in front of him or lose their attentiveness to the rest of what's going on down the road.

We live in a metro area of over a million people. I'm not putting Mr. 16 on the interstate during evening rush hour, but roads are the only place to practice driving, and getting to the next level of license requires logged hours. I might as well help other people cope with a tiny inconvenience.

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10 hours ago, EKS said:

Right.  So what is the purpose of the student driver sign again?

Not everyone is a moron AND an a$$hole.  Some are just a$$holes and may realize their aggressive behavior is more likely to cause an accident, especially with a new driver, and behave accordingly.  

Edited by Wheres Toto
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11 hours ago, EKS said:

Right.  So what is the purpose of the student driver sign again?

Well most of us here do modify our driving habits to give more grace when we see one, so 🤷‍♀️

I choose to not give the jerks out there priority in my life.

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