Sep 12, 2010

I'm on L-Plate

Remember the "L-Plate"? In Singapore, new car drivers have to place the "L Plate" prominently to alert the others that, "Hey, I am new in driving. Pardon if I make any silly mistakes." Mmm.. what's the equivalent in Japan?

In Japan, there have 2 kinds of magnetic stickers which you can use:

Yellow with green arrow-like sticker (初心運転者標識) is for new drivers.

And the other,yellow with orange sticker shaped like a water droplet (高齢運転者標識), is for elderly drivers, aged 75 and above.

Updated: As of 1 Feb 2011, the symbol for elderly drivers has been changed to a four-leaves clover. Drivers from the age of 70 will have to display the symbol on their cars.

I decided to get mine at the 100-yen shop, and affix it to my bicycle. Yeah.. bicycle. :P I saw an old neighbour doing the same for his water droplet leaf sticker, and decided to follow suit as well, especially since I was being honked at the last time I cycled to the supermart. The cyclist behind me had thought that I was hogging the pavement on purpose.

To the Japanese, it seems to be second nature to be able to cycle. After running, the next to teach a child is cycling. I saw many young children learning how to cycle in the park. Mmm.. unfortunately, this is not the case for me. I am a late learner in cycling. And I practically have no experience cycling on the roads prior to this.

Hence if you spot an adult cyclist who meanders around, that is probably me.

Hope soon, I can be confident enough to commute with my bicycle and hence remove my 初心者 sticker.

P.S: There are stickers for the physically challenged drivers, and hearing impaired drivers as well.