Restrict young drivers NOW!!!aries 81 comments
After seeing the loss of another 5 young lives in Melbourne on the weekend in an horrific car accident where speed was the cause, I think the time for much tighter restrictions on young drivers is not just due, but to be frank, long bloody overdue.
The youth behind the wheel did not have the appropriate license required to drive his high powered XR6 Ford Falcon, nor was the car registered. All this aside, what the hell is a 19 year old doing behind the wheel of an XR6 or any other high powered car in the first place? The law in Australia is ludicrous, just plain ludicrous!!!
While it has become harder to obtain a license since I did my lap round the block back in '91, a child, yes at 17 they are still children, can get behind the wheel of any car whatsoever. How is that, and how was it ever possible that a completely inexperienced driver can jump behing the wheel of a thumping V8 monster or a turbo charged 4 or 6 cylinder car capable of doing 0-100kph in under 5 seconds?
What makes this even crazier is that here in oz we do not have to do a night driving test, nor are we taken on to a skid pan to do wet weather training, nor is an emergencY braking test administered during driving exams... NOTHING!!!
In Scandanavian countries young drivers must do what we would call an advanced driver training course similar to what our police pursuit drivers must first undergo before they can drive a police car at high speeds, and this is BEFORE they even get a license.
So what do you think is the solution? According to psychologists young people are not able to assess risk in the way older adults are until they are about 23 or 24 years of age. It's not based on prejudice or statistics, it is based in science, it is their brain chemistry or the lack of development therin that prevents young people from having a fully developed capacity to assess risk to themselves and others.
I see it as simple really. If you have scientific and psychological analysis and evidence that supports this, which we do, not to mention a horrific set of road toll stats as well, then you must restrict drivers until they are better able to assess risk, but we must also train them much much better.
In countries like Sweden where the government isn't wasting all it's money on making bombs and sending troops to fight America's wars for them, I see drivers getting the correct training before they are allowed to drive, I see a comprehensive and fully paid for healthcare system that even allows men paid maternity leave and I see one of the lowest crime rates in the known world.
Why have WE got our priorities so bloody wrong? It infuriates me. Our politicians are too scared to do ANYTHING in case they make an unpopular decision, but for pete's sake, isn't that what we pay them the big bucks???
I, and anyone with half a brain can see that we have to take action IMMEDIATELY and not just keep showing horrific images on the news because that won't and never has cut it.
Young drivers should be restricted to nothing more than 1.6 litre non turbo charged non modified car for the first 2 years, on top of which a points system should be introduced. If you f**k up you lose points and depending on how many points you lose depends on whether you are allowed to jump up to a 2 litre, non turbo non modified car.(Like our current demerit points system but based on the severity and frequency of offenses, the outcome of which determines not whether you can hold a license, but what sized engine you are allowed to drive and own!!!)
That's first 4 years taken care of, now just 2 more years to go until they are safe to let loose, so for the remaining 2 years let's say a limit of engine size to maybe 2.5 litre non turbo.
If after 5 or 6 years of death free driving a young adult wishes to drive a more powerful and or turbocharged motor car, they must then do more advanced driver training and be forced to show a highly trained professional driving instructor that they are capable of handling such a car. Once they have this car and the appropriate license to drive it, the points system stays in effect and the police can seize the car back at any point in time if the person either repeat offends of does something stupid to endanger lives.
In other countries they take it one step further and crush people's cars in these situations, which I am not adverse to either. You might think twice about being a dickhead on our roads after watching your shiny pride and joy get obliterated before your very eyes huh???