Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
An L-plate is a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for "learner", which must be affixed to the front and back of a car in many countries if its driver is a learner under instruction. In the United Kingdom and Hong Kong the L is red on white; in Australia and New Zealand it is black on yellow. Switzerland's L-plates show a white L on a blue background. The signs may be magnetic, made of sticky-back plastic or affixed with suction caps. They can be bought at motoring supply shops.
Cars belonging to driving schools often have signs attached to the roof identifying and advertising the school. These signs also carry the required L-plates.
After learners in the United Kingdom pass their driving test, they have the choice of replacing the red L-plate with a plate bearing a green L. This is designed to warn other vehicles that they are still rather inexperienced even though they are fully licensed. However, this idea has caused some controversy, since the colours are often difficult to distinguish in low light and by people who are red-green colour blind. Because of this, some people choose to show green "P" plates (for "probationary") instead. In Australia the P plates stand for "provisional", are red on white, and are required for between one and two years after passing the test. Note that, confusingly, a "provisional licence" is the British term for a learner's licence.
L-plates are a familiar part of popular culture, and are often jokingly used or referred to in settings analogous to driving tests, such as ordinations. As a crossword abbreviation, the word "student" or "learner" often refers to the letter L.
- The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1996, Schedule 4, mandating the design of "L" and "D" plates (not the original legislation which introduced the mark)
- On the design of "P" plates
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details