IT ONLY takes one honk to ruin somebody's confidence.

Their hands begin to tremble, the panic builds and the car jolts to a halt as learner drivers are abused on Ipswich roads.

It's a normal scenario for Ipswich Pro Drive owner David Cullen who has seen learner drivers abused, sworn at and honked at during a lesson.

"The general public aren't giving them a chance to make a mistake and then try to correct it," he said.

"If someone gets up behind them and starts beeping the horn, the kids just go to pieces.

"They're stressed, they're highly agitated to start with and someone gets behind them and gives the horn a blast and that's all, they fall apart.

"The students have meltdowns."

Dave Cullen from Pro Drive Ipswich talks about impatience of other drivers around learners.
HARD LESSON: Pro Driver owner David Cullen is encouraging drivers to be patient. Rob Williams


He said fellow drivers needed to remember students were still learning and needed plenty of space and time, not a honk.

"What's so important they can't wait a couple of seconds?" he said.

"I've seen people beeping the horn, verbal abuse, windows down, swearing and yelling, all the usual sign language, screeching the wheels. They learnt once and they certainly didn't get into the car and turn the key and become Craig Lowndes overnight."

Teenager Liam Hutchison has just made the transition from learner to licensed driver.

Teen Liam Hutchison has experienced driver impatience while learning to drive.
Teen Liam Hutchison has experienced driver impatience while learning to drive.


For more than a year he has been taking lessons and practising his skills behind the wheel on the streets of Ipswich; he's been yelled at, tail-gated and felt annoyed at other people's impatience.

"Learning to drive is difficult," Liam said.

"If I made a mistake, sometimes it would make me nervous.

"When people tail-gate me, it just makes me feel annoyed.

"With learner drivers people should remember that you have to start somewhere."

Liam passed his driving test yesterday and said his first trip would be to KFC.