Leaner driver Brynlea Gibson.  (AAP Image/Rene Droop)
Leaner driver Brynlea Gibson. (AAP Image/Rene Droop)

Plea to back off learner drivers

A BRISBANE mum has encouraged drivers to be more patient around L platers after her daughter's run-in with an impatient motorist.

Michelle Gibson of Westlake said the driver gave her daughter Brynlea long honks of her horn as the teenager waited to go through a busy intersection on a hill.

"My husband is a very patient person. He's incredibly tolerant and he came home and said it was appalling behaviour. It was so bad," she said.

"She came home and was so distressed. She just said 'I want to quit. I don't want to keep doing this'. And this is a confident, brave kid usually who's quite resilient."

Brynlea said she was driving a manual car on a hill and about to enter a busy intersection.

"This car just came up and was right on my tail so I was really worried about falling back into it, and then it started beeping me. I could understand one beep but it was continuous long beeps," she said.

"I felt sick by the time I came home. It kind of affected the rest of my drive. It doesn't make me want to get behind the wheel again. It made me not want to get a manual licence."

Brynlea urged drivers to be put themselves in the place of the learner.

"Please be patient. Everyone has been a learner. It's something where you'd like to be treated nicely. In that moment, don't think about yourself," she said.

Owner of Learn2Motor Driving School Rod Finch said despite his well-signed vehicle, he often saw drivers putting unnecessary pressure on his students.

"There's not a panel on my car that wouldn't have signage on it that indicates it's a learner driver, and I'm sure it happens less to us, but there's just that pressure. Some people just make no allowance for them, they're right up on them. I've had horn honking plenty of times," he said.

"It's people putting the pressure on in hillstart situations, undertaking, and not giving them the space... it just shatters the kids, it really does."

In the situation Brynlea experienced, Mr Finch said he would have taken over control of the car.

"They're getting way too much pressure put on them by other drivers who really should know better. It comes back to experienced drivers knowing that that person isn't experienced, so they should give them an extra half a car length to take the heat off," he said.

"It's not just me and parents who play a part in teaching the kids, it's all of the drivers out on the roads."


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