Every boy likes to drive fast cars.
Many girls do too. Cars are relatively cheap, jobs are easy to get and wages can be high.
Finance is easy, cars are easy to get and simple to make go very fast, much faster than their drivers are capable of
Complicating the issue is that in the last two decades, the number of cars on the road has increased
exponentially, and the likelihood of running into another car literally, has also increased exponentially.
ago, many more people lived in less populated areas where they could learn to drive in someone’s old manual gearbox
car, out on a farm or back street, and by the time they got their driver’s licence, they were already quite experienced
with the physical operation of a motor vehicle. They gained their licence and began driving on relatively
sparsely populated roads in cars that travelled relatively much slower than their equivalents produced since the year 2000.
the inexperienced and impatient “Y” generation of “want it NOW” young people, with less driving experience
and ability generally, in cars and on motorbikes much faster than ever before, are taking to the roads and driving at speeds
far in excess of what any other factors involved are capable of handling. Those factors are the road conditions,
the traffic conditions, the vehicle capabilities or the driver capabilities.
Regardless of any of the
above factors, it is decidedly wrong for anyone to drive in a manner that will put either their lives or the lives of other
road users at risk. The solutions are radical, but critical.
- Teach kids to drive at school, so that they learn all about driving, from the mechanicals of a motor
car, to the theory and practical aspects of driving, gaining a practical ability with driving in challenging conditions, and
also the consequences of collisions and dangerous driving. That would include drug and alcohol eduction,
visits to hospital casualty wards, quadriplegic wards and the like.
- Create a proper
driver training and licensing system where applicants are actually tested on the important issues regarding driving.
Testing would ensure that applicants could handle a motor vehicle under all conditions, not just on the road on a short
test drive. This would include a mandatory defensive driver training program for all applicants, with a
pass a prerequisite for application for the right to take a test for a drivers licence. Regular refresher
programs, perhaps on a five yearly basis would ensure that the drivers maintain their standards and update when necessary.
- Limit the performance characteristics of the vehicles a new road user would be allowed to operate, not only own.
- Overhaul road rules and standardise them across Australia, so that common sense laws applied everywhere, and road
rules when broken would be appropriately disciplined.
- Get serious about “hooning”
with third strike loss of vehicle and license forever, and severely graded penalties up to that level, including consideration
of the time between offences.
A general principle that abuse of the road rules, as opposed to a mere speeding
offence or minor infringement, carries with it the loss of rights to the road system, as driving and sharing the road with
other responsible road users is a privilege to be earned, not a right.