I finally got my Swedish drivers license at the age of 30. Yes, I know it's been four years since I moved to Sweden, but I never really needed one before. I like walking, biking, or riding the buss/train. My first year in Sweden I walked 30 minutes to and from my classes at the University in the cold, dark, dead of winter and miraculously survived (of course this was before I stopped being too shy in Swedish to take buss alone, but all the same).
People who move to Sweden from a EU country can just switch their licenses, sadly this is not the case for Americans, and getting your drivers license in Sweden is no joke. It costs the average Swede around $2,000. Roughly 60% fail the computerized test and 40% fail the driving portion on their first try.
The questions aren't easy. I mean can you answer the following:
1. How many tons of carbon dioxide emissions could be avoided if everyone drove the speed limit?
2. How fast are you allowed to tow a cement mixer with iron wheels?
3. How long does a tunnel need to be in order for a warning sign to be place in advance of the tunnel?
4. At what distance do you see a person with reflectors at night if your low beams are on?
5. What is the mathematical equation for calculating blood alcohol level content?
You basically need to know the answer to hundreds of these type of questions. Luckily I live with a police officer, so we skipped the driving lessons, I crammed the entire week before the test and passed by the luck of my Scot-Irish ancestors. Otherwise I would not be bragging about it on my blog.
BUT...I'm really writing this tangent about my drivers license because after getting over my initial irritation of having to study all the theory, I realized I was grateful to have had this opportunity. My 30 year old self is a much safer, more aware driver than that of my 16 year old, sport car driving counterpart.
I know countless lives could be saved if everyone simply drove the speed limit.
I understand and respect what a great responsibly it is every time I get behind the wheel.
Andreas is so proud ;)
This picture is from 09/19/2010,
the day my Swedish life began.