Image source: autobarn.com.au
To have p-plates or not is one of the frequently asked questions by the drivers who have passed their driving test and finally acquired the driving license. Drivers who have just passed are still seen as learners and in some states, they are required to use the L plates for a period not exceeding a year.
As you get more experience on the road, you might wonder if P plates are a good idea. For safety reasons, it is highly recommended although some drivers use P Plates on a voluntary basis. P-Plates lets other road users know you’re a new driver and they should be patient with you. You may feel a bit on the edge the first few days driving alone but P-Plates will ease your worry and let you without minding what other road users think of you. Let’s have a look at the benefits and drawbacks of using P Plates.
1. Safe drive: P Plates enables other drivers on the road to know you’re new on road and they should be more patient with you when driving alongside you.
2. Not compulsory: P Plates are not compulsory and you may decide to put one on your vehicle or not to.
3. 100% concentration: Having the P plates on your vehicle enables you to have a maximum concentration on the road without worrying about other drivers who are getting impatient with you. It easily alerts other drivers you’re new on the road.
4. Take them down anytime: There is no legal requirement you should have them and once you feel comfortable to drive without them, you can just get them off.
You can even take them down within 2 days!
5. No penalties: Unlike the L plates, P plates have no enforcement penalties regarding the size used and where it is placed. You can place one at the front and another at the rear.
6. Not easy to crush: P plates reduces the chances of other drivers crashing into you. They give you enough space and time to get comfortable on the road and gain more experience.
7. Confident driver: Have P plates is a good idea because it enables other drivers to give you enough room to react at the junctions, avoid causing accidents or make mistakes, and be able to gain more confidence.
8. Receive insurance cover: In case of an accident and you had displayed the P plate warning sign to other drivers, the insurance company puts that into account giving you more advantage.
1. Few considerate drivers: Only a few drivers are more considerate of your lack of experience on the roads. Others see it as an opportunity to annoy you or just harass you.
2. Annoying remarks: When people may ask you that annoying question, “you just passed” even when you have been on the roads for months. Even your friends can ask that annoying question or mock you especially if you’re young.
3. Frustrations: When other drivers learn you’re new on the road, they can decide to harshly overtake you just to frustrate you.
4. First impression: When other drivers see the P Plates on your vehicle they may think you’re a bad driver or you’re not ready to be on the road.
5. Attract unnecessary attention: P plates, attract unnecessary attention to you with other drivers wanting to judge your level of experience on the road.
6. More vulnerable: P plate drivers are more vulnerable than the L plate drivers since they have little experience and they are left on their own to practice more and gain more confidence on the road.
7. Feel pressured: The few times on the road on your own may make you feel stressed. Other road drivers may push P plate’s drivers to hurry up and this may push them to cause accident especially on roundabouts.
8. Paint damage: It may cause paint damage to your bonnet or the place where the “P” is placed.