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Ashley Robinson: getting a licence used to be so easy

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Ashley Robinson: getting a licence used to be so easy


Ashley Robinson: getting a driver's licence used to be so laid back

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Looking back over my just over six decades on the Coast it seems quite unbelievable how things have changed.

A Sunday afternoon in those days could easily be passed by jumping off Mackenzie’s Bridge into Mooloolah River with no-one batting an eyelid, unlike me the other day passing some kids doing it at Maroochydore and I had to stop myself from tut tutting.

Maybe there were lots of things to do because we weren’t as well informed as today, or possibly not as many rules.

Take drivers licences for instance, I heard someone talking the other day how much it cost for driving lessons, tests and the actual licence.

In my day it was dear old Dad trying to keep his blood pressure down while he explained how to let the clutch out smoothly in our old ute on the farm or double the clutch in our old Ford Thames truck.

Fair dinkum, I was no chance of doubling the clutch, but did manage to eventually learn how to do it in the ute not before catapulting my mother and myself into a tree when I put my foot on the clutch instead of the brake.

Luckily testing wasn’t quite so meticulous as it is today, for instance in 1970 when my brother went for his bike licence one Saturday morning and the old Sergeant at Palmwoods came out with his pyjamas on, stood on the road and told old mate to ride down to the traffic island do a U-turn and come back without falling off and he was in business.

Mine was a bit different, my initial licence test for car and bike was pretty formal, but I managed to lose it a year later and, through a mate of a mate, when I went for the test to get it back got a book of raffle tickets for the PYC pushed over to me with a choice of doing the test or buying the raffle book?

Imagine both those policemen, if it were today. They would be in all sorts of trouble but it was just another time, different rules and I am sure people were certainly more laid back.

I wouldn’t mind being back there if only because a big bottle of beer was 25 cents.


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