AMA Insider Spring 2018 / Over 55 - Page 45

NEW DRIVER JOURNEY Alberta’s graduated driver Licencing (gdL) program was introduced in 2003. Here’s how it works Class 7: Learner’s Licence At age 14, teens can take the 30-point multiple-choice exam that tests knowledge of driving skills, road rules and signs. It can be taken at any AMA centre. Pass by getting at least 25 questions correct and obtain a Class 7 learner’s licence. Teens can then drive when accompanied by a fully licensed driver 18 years of age or older. Other restric- tions: no driving from mid- night to 5 a.m., zero alcohol level behind the wheel and 8-demerit points (vs. 15 for licensed drivers). Class 5: Probationary GDL After one year driving with a Class 7, drivers at least 16 years of age can schedule the Class 5 road test. It’s a good idea to take driver’s ed during that year. During the in-car test, teens must demonstrate solid driving skills, including park- ing, turning, reversing and lane changes. Pass, and a Class 5 probationary licence will be issued, allowing teens to drive unaccompanied any time of day (demerit and alcohol limits are the same as Class 7). Class 5: Full Licence Drive Class 5 for two years (the last one suspension-free), and complete and pass an advanced road test. This class increases the demerit points one can amass before licence suspen- sion, removes the zero-alcohol condition and permits you to accompany a learner driver. MY KID IS TURNING 14… NOW WHAT? S T U DY LEARNER’S TEST download the Alberta driver’s guide (transportation.alberta.ca). Teen studies for Class 7 learner’s test and takes practice tests. purchase flashcards at AMA centres and sign up for AMA’s online prep course or lessons: AMADriverEducation.ca If teen is at least 14 years of age, has parental consent and passes a vision test, they can take the Class 7 knowledge test ($18). Teens can take the test at any AMA centre and there’s no time limit. If they pass, they can pur- chase the Class 7 permit ($65). I N -V E H I C L E DRIVER’S ED A driving course is the best way to learn the skills of actually han- dling a car. It builds a foundation while practice sessions keep the momentum going. Teens should have a combination of both to become good drivers and build solid driving habits. 1 YEAR L AT E R A N D P R AC T I C E W I T H A COAC H Be mindful of Class 7 restric- tions (see left). Teens can drive with a parent/coach to practise and learn smart driving skills. download a coaching guide at ama.ab.ca/ NewDri ver. parents: Make sure you’re teaching good driving habits; consider taking a brush-up lesson. After at least a year driving with Class 7 licence, teens age 16 or older can take the basic road test. B A S I C R OA D T E ST Is teen ready to test their skills behind the wheel? register for the Class 5 basic road test ($89). schedule and take a test at an AMA centre: ama.ab.ca/RoadTests. during the in-car exam, teen will demonstrate proper steering, turning, signaling, parking, lane-change and reversing skills. YES Pass THE TEsT? NO CLASS 5 GDL LICENCE If teen is at least 16 and passes the road test, they’ll receive a Class 5 gdL. They can drive unaccompanied, any time of day, though demerit and alcohol limits still apply (see left). 2 YEARS L AT E R Teen drives for at least two years with Class 5 licence, and is suspen- sion-free for the last year. They can then take the advanced road test. A D VA N C E D R O A D T E S T To get a full Class 5 licence to drive anytime, restriction-free, teen must pass one final road test ($139). The exam tests both the driver’s skills and their confidence level in dealing with common traffic scenarios. YES Pass THE TEsT? NO CLASS 5 FULL LICENCE Congrats! Teen is a fully licensed driver! They can now drive, GDL-restriction-free. AMA InsIder sprIng 2018 45