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    Driving Education Film: Your Permit To Drive (1951)

    This beautifully filmed short, Your Permit to Drive, was produced by General Motors Corporation in the 1950s. One of the better driving videos from the fifties, this movie is a succinct and crisp discussion of the pleasure, the privilege, and the responsibility of driving. The narrator is a talking drivers license. He claims that the automobile has allowed for the modern American standard of living. Scenes illustrating this include a parade of different cars, trucks, and buses on the road, as well as a shot of a shiny new convertible being loaded up with groceries. Then the talking license reminds the audience that signing a driver’s permit equals signing a pledge to drive safely and respect others’ rights on the road. The film shows scenes of policemen asking drivers for their identification, and even car accident video clips. The talking license laments that too many young drivers don’t take the responsibility of driving seriously, often leading to tragedy. The narrator then compares “sportsmanship” and the rules of fair play in sports to the rules of driving. Since it would be un-American to cheat in a football game, it is also un-American to disregard the rules of safe driving. Providing tips for safe driving, safe driving habits, and safe highway driving provide some good educational value to the film. Unfortunately many still believe driving is a right - not a privilege - but Your Permit to Drive aims to correct this. Many scenes of daily life from the time are shown, including shots of drive-ins, diners, factories, hospitals, cities like Detroit, and of course, many shots of cars of the 1950s. A relic from the history of General Motors about learning to drive a car safely is both a fun look at the culture of the 1950s and a perfectly relevant lesson on driving safe today.