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Why getting a driver's licence is so worthwhile

Picture: the author of this article passed his driving test for the first time aged 57, and here he is on top of the Marrickville Metro with his P plates to prove it! 

Imagine having the freedom to get yourself to where you want to go, when you want to go there and take whoever you choose, with you.

Here is something you could do right now which is worthwhile, constructive and will change your life for the better.

1. Go to the web site for "drivers licence and vehicle registration" in your state

2. Download the free Road Users Handbook

3. Learn it

You might as well do it now, so that as soon as restrictions are lifted, you can be ready to learn to drive.

There are so many advantages to having a driver’s licence;

  1. It opens up many employment opportunities which might otherwise be closed to you (including peer work).
  2. It will empower you to go where you want, when you want, with whoever you want.
  3. It will make it easier for you to date.
  4. You could buy a cute FIAT 500 in spearmint milkshake green and call it your very own!

Think about it; without a driver’s licence you are currently less likely to get certain jobs, you are reliant on buses that stop running after sunset and unable to pick up that special someone for a Sunday drive. It’s within your power to change all of that right now, by deciding to get a driver’s licence.

Some of the many reasons people cite for not having a licence include:

  1. “It’s too dangerous, people drive like maniacs.”

Rest assured that reputable driving instructors teach you defensive driving techniques that   prepare you to handle tricky situations.

  1. “I can’t afford it.”

Driving school charges and government licencing charges vary but as a guide, lessons cost  anywhere from $50 per hour. The costs can be spread over a period of time so that you don’t have to pay a large amount all at once. Think of it as an investment in your recovery, the value of which is incalculable.

  1.  “My doctor won’t let me because I’m too sedated on my meds.”

Remember that not all doctors are well versed in recovery and some may have low expectations around what you can achieve. Let your doctor know how important driving will be to your recovery and discuss finding a way forward.  

My own excuse was "too drunk," but once I had remained sober for 17 years it was time to admit to myself that this was no longer a valid reason. If drinking seems like a valid excuse for you, imagine how much better your life will be when you are able to cruise around, stone cold sober in your little red car; when you like, to wherever you like, with whoever you like.

Warren Heggarty from Panorama Magazine

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