Young Drivers and New Licenses

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Student Parking Lot

By Nathan Rolls

One of the best things that can happen to a high school student is when they are given a driver’s license after successfully passing a driver’s skill test. This test given is fairly simple. Drivers are instructed to drive on a few roads with an instructor in the passenger seat, and obey all traffic rules. Stopping completely for 3 seconds at stop signs, stopping behind the white line at intersections, and being able to successfully parallel park. This is especially nerve racking for a teen who is about to get their license. Before testing for your license, you must obtain a learner’s permit in the state of Pennsylvania.

To obtain a learner’s permit, you must complete a 15 question written exam to show that you know the rules of the road. These questions are incredibly simple, and cover all of the laws of the road. From road signs, to what you should do when you start hydroplaning, this test assesses the knowledge of Pennsylvania’s future drivers. For obvious reasons, vision tests are performed before the permit is given to the learning driver. Before someone can get their license, they must have enough experience behind the wheel in all different conditions. In the state of Pennsylvania, eligible drivers need 65 hours of road experience. This includes 10 hours of night driving, and 5 hours of driving in bad weather. There are a few restrictions, however. One of these restrictions is that you need a parent/guardian who is over the age of 21 with you in the car at all times, or a spouse who is at least 18 years old.

When a learning driver is ready to take their test, they must schedule it on the PennDOT website, where they are given a list of times and dates to choose from. Anyone familiar with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) knows that this is a lengthy process. “I had to schedule my test 4 months in advance,” said one student. Four months is a long time to be backed up. Once the test is scheduled, you must wait until your date arrives. Once it does, you have to show up to the DMV your test was scheduled at. In the Lehigh County, there are multiple driver’s license centers. The closest ones are Allentown and Easton. Often times, drivers will pick the DMV with the shortest wait. The DMV understands that in the real world, you will occasionally hit the curb, so you are allowed to hit the curb on the parallel parking portion of the test. However, you may not go over the curb, which must be pretty difficult, because the curb is a solid 6 inches of concrete.

Once you pass your test, you get a temporary license. This license, as its name suggests, will only serve as your license for a couple of days until your new, official license will arrives in the mail. This process generally takes within 15 days of receiving your temporary license. Many students say that the best part of their license is no longer being confined to their parents’ or friends’ plans. Also, they have stated that they enjoy being able to get a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning, as it eliminates the issue of getting up early to catch a bus in the morning. At Salisbury High School, students have many options for parking. They can park in the student parking lot once they obtain a parking pass, or they can park on any of the streets surrounding the school. For information on parking passes, visit the office or send an email to your guidance counselor.


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