It’s only fitting that 16 years after we experienced the freedom of passing our Iowa drivers license exam, we found ourselves being retested. Except this time around, we were armed with the confidence that 16 years of driving brings. So, what’s to study?
General observation is that traffic is hurry up and go, then stop and repeat. I sat down with the California Driver’s License exam in my hand, and there is was. The first question to stump an out of state driver. While I probably can’t repeat the questions online, topics ranged from what makes other California drivers angry (my favorite!), child restraint requirements, and bike lanes, to smoking in your vehicle with underage passengers.
Our first attempt at passing resulted in a fail. Our second attempt, success! A quick snap of our smiling faces, and soon we were in another line to switch out our license plates. The whole experience required two separate visits, two separate days, one appointment, and waiting in five different lines.
We left with California plates and temporary drivers licenses. We were now considered California drivers, deemed ready to share the narrow freeway lanes in the 805, on the 101 and the 405. One of America’s top 5 busiest interchanges, is where the 101 meets the 405, seeing nearly 318,000 cars pass by in one day. That’s definitely way more traffic than you would ever see traveling by boat on the Pacific!
In contrast to getting your drivers license there is no mandatory “boaters license.” Boaters build their skills by taking boating courses and logging miles spent on the water. In addition, all boaters must adhere to the US Department of Homeland Security, Coast Guard Navigational Rules.
It is required by the Coast Guard to have a copy of the Navigational Rules book on board. The “rules of the road” state that every vessel is required at all times to maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing. In an effort to avoid and reduce the risk of collision when either of us is driving the boat, we point out any potential hazards to each other.
Verbal confirmation from the helmsman indicates they see the hazard and are taking action to avoid if necessary. So, tell me, when is the last time you actually listened to your back seat driver?