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LEARNING HOW TO DRIVE IN BROOKLYN, NY


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Posted by Nate Goldman on Wednesday, July 17th 2019:

In the Spring of 1962, shortly after turning 18, I went to the Motor Vehicle Bureau in downtown Brooklyn, NY (I forgot the exact street, but it was near Fulton St.), and applied for my learner's permit. I proudly left that office, with my permit. Later that year, I took some driving lessons at a school in downtown Brooklyn. In addition to the vehicle instruction, it also included a class with a movie, regarding driving. I also received some addition instruction from my family, using the family car. In the Summer of 1963, I went to a driving school on Kings Highway and took some additional lessons in a 1963 Ford Fairlane. The latter car had duel control. I remember one time that we drove to Coney Island, and I was practicing broken u-turns. All of a sudden, another motorist came along, and acted very impatiently that she had to wait a few seconds, while I finished the turn. My driving instructor asked her what her problem was, regarding her attitude. However, she never responded. In any event, I scheduled the road test towards the end of July, 1963.It must have been in the mid 90's that day. The guy who brought the car for the road test, was not the same driving instructor, from the Kings Highway school. When he saw me, the first thing that he stated was "You couldn't have picked a cooler day to take the road test", as if the weather was my fault. The examining area at that time, was in the Coney Island area. I remember that the examiners all had uniforms which looked like state troopers, especially their hats. After looking at my driver's permit, the examiner asked me to pull out, and make various left and right turns. He was taking notes, while I performed the various tasks. We were warned in advance by the driving school that if we omitted using our directional signals. that would be an automatic failure. The most challenging part of the road test was the parallel parking. I thought that I performed that part fairly well. However, I wasn't 100% satisfied that I positioned the car as close to the curb, as I could have done. Hence, I asked the instructor if I could do that again. He let me do it a second time, and I was able to bring the car even closer. He was very courteous, and stated that I would hear from the DMV. Within one week, my first driver's license was in the mail. Some nine years later, when I relocated to Ohio, they had an antiquated law, which stated that even if one possessed a valid driver's license from another state, we would still have to take a road test in Ohio. I should have waited, since that law was rescinded within a short time, after I came to Ohio. Their road test was nothing compared to the one in Brooklyn, since parallel parking was not required, and still isn't. In fact, there are people here, who still can't properly parallel park. I've been able, over the years to find spots to park in which other motorists have ignored. They've done so, because they lack the ability to parallel park. Incidentally, when I was taking driving lessons in Brooklyn, the instructor always corrected me for not looking out my left window, when making a left turn. I always think of him, whenever I make a left turn, and look out the left window. Last, a classmate of mine from high school, told me that it was permitted to drive in Brooklyn at age 17, if one completed a driver education course, which he did. He was driving in Brooklyn before his 18th birthday, with a valid license Has anybody every heard of that, since I could not find any reference to that in the NY State driver manual, at that time? I know that residents in NY State can drive at age 16, but NYC prohibits drivers under 18 from driving. I never knew of any exception to that, regarding driver's education?

Reference ID: BK95877



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