Dear Maine Drivers,

This is not aimed at everyone who drives in Maine, but at those who do so more carelessly.

My son just started his junior year of high school, and I'm sure you remember those days at his age. You took driver's education, you got your permit, and you were ready to drive a car! How amazing is that?

The State of Maine has a requirement of 70 hours of driving time for teens like my son before they can take their driving test to get their license. 70 hours is a lot of time. And I am the one in the passenger seat for the majority of those 70 hours, guiding him, instructing him, asking questions like "Where are you going to make this turn?" or "Who has the right of way here?"

I think I do a pretty good job of helping him learn, but drivers around us aren't making it very easy.

Google Maps
Google Maps

While on the Maine Turnpike last weekend, there was a construction speed limit posted in Portland of 50 mph. My son did exactly what he was supposed to do. He stayed in the right lane and maintained a speed of 50. That was too slow for the person behind us, and they got right on our bumper to send a message.

The message was received but ignored. I told my son to maintain his speed and eventually, the driver veered off at an exit. This all of course after my son, the student driver, got a little nervous with someone that close to his bumper. He wasn't camping in the passing lane. He was where he should have been and going the speed he should have been. This isn't the first time we've encountered impatient drivers, either.


I guess what I'm asking everyone to do is take a moment to think how nervous you were driving on the highway for the first time. To get experience driving, the only option is to drive with the people who have been doing it for years. If someone is going slow or hesitating to make a turn or a move, take into consideration that they could be a student driver. Assume they are, and give them some room. You were a student driver once too, you know.

Thank you.

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