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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Singapore Driver's License

So today I passed the basic theory test and now actually have a Qualified Driving Licence which is good for the next five years, not that I plan on being here that long but you never know. You have to make the appointment to take the test several months in advance and I bought the study book in May, but July seemed like such a long time away that I really didn't start studying until yesterday. They are big on signs and knowing specific meanings like the difference between a gated and ungated train crossing. I don't think I've actually gone across any train tracks since I've been here, but just in case you need to know the difference. Also, the sign with one bump is for a road hump ahead, but two bumps means uneven road ahead.

They are very concerned with politeness in driving and several of the more interesting bits in the book include "before opening the door of a vehicle, make sure that it will not inconvenience anybody on the road or the foot path" or "tailgating makes the driver in front nervous and can cause him to be involved in an accident." For the road boulders "Road-Hogging hinders the flow of traffic behind and may cause others to pass dangerously on the left; stay to the right if you wish to drive slowly." Or "you may not drive if you suffer from sudden attacks of giddiness;" wasn't that what we had in eighth grade? They also have lots of different markings on the roadway

with things like yellow zig-zag lines and white zig-zag lines that mean different things about parking and stopping at certain times of the day. They also ask trick questions about what the double white zig-zag lines mean; there aren't any, but the double yellow zig-zag means no stopping at any time. The last bit I really had to work on understanding and memorizing were the hand signals from the policeman, none of it seem intuitive.

You are only allowed to miss four questions out of 50 to pass and when you are done the computer either gives you a big green light that you've passed or a red light that you failed. At least I got the green light and was able to move onto the next queue to complete the paperwork and pay more money. Now all I have to do is coach Bob through it, but we have another eight months to work on that.
Happy driving

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