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Driving Us Crazy in Snowy Norway

Being a father of teenagers isn’t always easy, and being a stepfather can be tougher still. But sometimes its fun when you get to participate in life’s little adventures, like teaching them how to drive a car (in Norway you can do that from when you are 25 and had your license for at least 5 years). I taught my two sons and my daughter how to drive when it was their turn and I practised with my nephew and my niece. Now it’s my bonus child, Kyle’s turn to learn how to drive and we’re out on the road again.

Well we can’t start on the busiest roads of course, so I normally take the new drivers up into the forest where there is very little traffic. We start out in a parking lot, and then a back road (all pics taken with my Nokia N82 – click to enlarge and enjoy):

Car driving lessons in snowy Norway #1
Kyle has been driving for some weeks now so we are working our way onto the road. He has been through the mandatory 5 day predriving class and gotten his learners permit (in Norway you can have that from when you are 16). He has also had one of his mandatory driving lessons with the local driving school. Norway has difficult driving conditions much of the year, and twisty turny roads so it is important that the children learn to drive correctly right from the start.

Of course the scenery on the forest roads is nothing to complain about. We have lots of snow this year and it is fun for boys to drive on the ice and snow you know. The view is quite lovely in the wintertime:

Car driving lessons in snowy Norway #2
Notice the L on the car which indicates that there is a driver learning:

Car driving lessons in snowy Norway #3
When we stopped in this parking lot we had to watch our heads!! You can see in the background that we were training by the shooting range, and here are some avid hunters training for their sport:

Car driving lessons in snowy Norway #4
We also changed drivers again at the local horse stables. Here there are many who stable horses for private use if they don’t have a barn of their own, and there is also the local riding school for new riders and those who want to advance. As a child I went to riding school too, of course. I can even ride bareback…okay; well I could when I was a teenager. I’m not sure my back will take it now :lol:

Car driving lessons in snowy Norway #5
So if you have a driving license; How was your first step and/or your teaching experience?

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  1. i would imagine you must be a patient teacher so that is good. we are teaching our daughter right now. i like the idea of the car being marked in that way to let other drivers know it is a learner. my daughter had a very nasty experience with a very aggressive and impatient driver because she made a typical beginner’s mistake.

    i was fortunate to have my mother teach me and she was very patient. when i had to take my test though the examiner scared me!

    I think patients is very important – we all have to remember we where newbies once too! Glad your Mom was like that too!

  2. My father let me drive once when I was about 16 or so. He yelled at me all the way home. I never drove with him again. I learned how to drive after I graduated from high school. So, my experience was not a memorable one.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug to you and Diane. :)

    Its a shame your father wasn’t more patient – its a great opportunity to spend time with your teenager.
    Wishing you the same and tons of hugs back :)

  3. LOL – “bonus child’ – I must remember that one!

    Excellent – well done Kyle! Coming from an ‘experienced’ driver who’s too scared to drive at the moment. Got lorries and cars slip’n and sliding all over the place here in old Ringwood. English can’t drive in the snow (don’t tell them I said that – uhum).

    Sounds so much better than step son you know :-)
    Maybe I should give the Englishman a lesson or too – doesn’t it snow every year? :lol:

  4. I learned to drive in school. We had a class and a driving teacher, who was a terrible drunk. (Honestly!) He would bring a thermos of coffee (Rum!) and we kids would drive. He was not a help. My first husbands mother was actually the best for teaching me things. She was an excellent driver. I got my license the first time. Because the drunken teacher had a deal with the motor vehicle licensing department. Sad but true!
    After that I worked hard to be a good driver.

    O My Gosh; I hope he got caught some time! I’m sure your an excellent driver now though – even in snowy weather as I’ve noticed you’ve got a lot lately.

  5. I learned to drive from my mother when I was about 15. It was pretty stressful for both of us. I took my written and driving test as soon as I turned 16 and passed the first time. That was in 1957 and the schools didn’t have drivers education as they do now. I was a great driver (I thought). I got my first speeding ticket 2 weeks later and couldn’t drive again for awhile.

    By the time my own kids were able to drive we camped as a family and were often out in the boonies. I taught them how to do drive well enough to be able to go for help when they were 12 or 13 but they had to wait until they were older to really drive anywhere. Teaching a kid to drive is a memorable experience for all concerned.

    Your snow photos are beautiful. Kyle is a lucky kid.

    I had mine when 16 (1968), but that was for light motor bike. You have to be 18 to get a car license in Norway.
    I agree that teaching is a memorable experience, so I feel lucky too :)

  6. Norway sounds very similar to Australia with their learner drivers. My 17-year-old granddaughter has her learner’s permit (she got it when she was 16) and she has to keep a log and once she has 100 hours of driving (including lessons with a professional driving instructor) and her learner’s for a year, she can go for her probationer’s licence. She will be on Ps until she’s 21 and there are very strict conditions to having a probationer’s licence.

    It’s good to make it as strict as possible. But here, still too many teenage boys are losing their licences for drinking, speeding and hooning (actually for hooning, they have their cars impounded).

    To keep a log for hours practising sounds great. In Norway, the only hours that count is with a licensed teacher. In Norway you are on Ps for two years after you get your license at 18 years.
    In Norway also insurance is more expensive for beginners, but you collect bonus credit if you avoid accidence.

  7. Hey so cool learning to drive in all that snow.

    In Singapore, one has to be certified driving instructor before teaching others to drive so do you need this requirement in Norway?

    A cool challenge I think :)
    In Norway you also have to be certified to do formal and needed teaching. However, adults can help them practising if they are 25 and have hold their license in the last 5 years.

  8. I haven’t tried driving on heavy snow yet but I did drive with sleet around and it was like ice skating on wheels. I am getting my licensed once I am back home in Norway and at least I got tons of practice here in the third world. The traffic here is like a jungle and a perfect place to practice driving manoeuvres.

    So when you come back to Norway, I’ll gladly be your tutor then :-)

  9. oh,really a lovely view to drive!
    so you have a diff. sign for learners/beginners.its good to know a bit bout Norway again. :)

    oh,my first year of driving brought me into nervous but thrilling days.and i “scratched” a car beside me once,in a very narrow parking area,haha!

    are you better now, Renny?

    I agree about the view and glad you learned something new about Norway :)
    I think I remember the combination of nervous and a thrill too haha!
    In a way, I am better due to new anti pain pills. The main problem is actually my stomach and I have an appointment at the hospital for more test next week.

  10. I am a cautious driver and so far I haven’t had the opportunity to teach anyone. I cannot say too much about driving experiences in the snow, except maybe for one in my first year of driving, when I drove into a bush. Actually… I parked. LOL I didn’t have winter tires and there was ice under the snow, so you can imagine that, despite all my efforts to park right, the car followed its own will and stopped where it wanted. :)

    If you get the opportunity – go for it.
    I guess ice and snow occurs more often in Norway compare to your place, so its good to be well prepared you know.

    1. Oh, I will, trust me. :) I will one day teach my son, I know.
      I live on the river shore, snow is here rare – mild temperatures in the winter and more rain than anything else all year round. But we do have great wine. :)

    1. Don’t be – a lot of Norwegians envy you a milder climate :)
      I do agree: White Christmas is a must.
      I’ll do the best I can, but can you model for me :lol:

  11. Hei, og takk for hilsen på min blogg. Det du har laget her er imponerende. Jeg lar meg inspirere av både godt innhold og ikke minst applikasjoner! Det var morsomt med saken i Computerworld i går. Og det er spennende å se hvordan blogging utvikler seg fremover. Ikke minst med tanke på valgåret vi akkurat har startet på og at “alle” partier er imponert av Obamas bruk av sosiale medier.

    Hei og det samme til deg – også for komplimenter – hyggelig å kunne inspirere en som det!
    Jeg er like spent som deg, men håper vi finner en mer norsk stil når dette tar av.

  12. Oh wow! You learn to drive on SNOW!!! You must all be excellent drivers then :O)

    Well, with at least three month of winter and snow, you better get used to it :O)

  13. I too learned on a back road in the middle of the woods. It was a standard transmission truck. At the first turn, I panicked, floored the gas and nearly ran us into the trees. I’ve gotten better since then ;)

    So you had kind of a head start too then :lol: In Norway, most all cars are standard, so that add an extra challenge in the beginning, but also are much better in winter conditions.

  14. No offence to my Dad, but I wish I had a good instructor like you. But in France, a driver license is very expensive (1500 euro min.) because you can not learn with a family member, you have to take 30 hours of lessons with a licensed instructor.

    Did not work for me… But I am getting better driving in Canada.

    Others might have misunderstood this too: In Norway you have to take at least 15 – 20 hours with a licensed instructor too and it will cost more like 2 000€. I just do it to give Kyle some extra practice.

  15. It must be a challenge driving in that snow!
    In Singapore, you need to be 21 to drive a car. And it is difficult to pass.

    I learnt driving when I was 22 but the driving instructor tried to get fresh with me. I stopped the car and walked off. I never learn driving after that. :)

    Yea, challenging but fun!
    Shame on the instructor – hope you pick up learning again!

  16. Yes, those snowy forest roads seem to be inviting for some rally driving…. *giggles*

    I started very late on mine, due to a lot of reasons. I was long gone with my driving practice’s, despite that I already had a lot of back problems even then, and were preparing to going through the tests, when my back cracked totally.

    So unfortunately: no driving license for me. It’s not a good thing for me to sit in a car at all, so maybe I shouldn’t have any. I must admit though, that I’ve been very tempted to take it up again, since it’s such a good thing to have.

    It’s about the same in Sweden to take a driving license. I do wonder though, if your certificate as a instructor allows you to teach anyone without special permission, or if you have to apply for every other one you wanna teach?

    Over here the instructor also has to attend an introductory course to become an instructor, TOGETHER with the pupil, which means that if you at a later time wish to instruct some other pupil, you have to take that course again.

    All to be on the safe side I guess…

    I know back problem can be a showstopper to a lot of things :-(
    Since you said so and there has been a debate about it: In Norway, only the pupil need and introductory course.

  17. First off all, I love the photos!!!! My parents got me in driving school and then we started driving. I did fine after about 2 lessons (you know when you keep grabbing the wheel and turning it instead of letting the car do all of the work). I was great with an automatic immediately but it took a bit longer for the 5-speed. I’m very happy I learned that because I taught my brother and his friend how to drive a 5-speed and when my parents went to teach my brother, they wondered why he got it so fast. ;-)

    (I enjoy the teaching part also… I might have more chances soon to do that… ) By the way, the rules in the US and Canada have changed drastically since I learned. I’m sure it is the same with you too.

    Glad you liked the pics!
    We started mostly the same way, although I practice a lot with my father and grandfather.
    Like I’ve said before; most cars in Norway are standards, so it’s important to handle that.
    Yea, drastic change since I got mine 40 years ago :-)

  18. I was quite late (old!) learning to drive, decided I must learn when my second boy was born and I really did need to be able to get around. Most lessons were from a driving school but my husband took me out for practice every day he could. And I have to say he was excellent! Everyone who knows him is amazed to hear that, myself included. :) :) I did pass first time.

    We were living in Paris when our sons reached that age, and I insisted they had lessons in England and not Paris. (Sorry about that if anyone from Paris is reading this, but I didn’t feel they were ready for Arc de Triomphe experiences). It meant that they both had to have crash courses back home, which was a great success.

    I imagine driving in Norway must require an extra skill set to cope with the snowy conditions. I have never driven on roads like that so it was very interesting for me to see.

  19. My friends taught me how to drive, my father wasn’t very pleasant to learn to drive with. I only went out learning to drive with him once, that was enough. Your children are really lucky, I hope they know that.

    Love and Blessings,

  20. The pictures are gorgeous. In Canada, we need to know how to drive in snow as well. We have snow from October to at least March where I am from.

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