Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Driving Age.

Last week, the government confirmed a change of the driving age (changing the learners age from 15 to 16, and increasing the learners period). When all this talk started about changing the driving age I was very strongly opposed, I even discussed possible protests. I believed I had the right to drive, and I was furious that someone was trying to take that away from me, I believed that 15 year olds were plenty mature enough to drive a car! But now, as I get closer and closer to receiving my learners licence, I'm beginning to rethink my beliefs. Although I believe I would be mature and responsible enough to drive a car (or maybe I'm just cocky), not everyone I've met recently would have been. Well its not really the people on the learners I'm worried about, most kids ten and up could drive okay, if supervised properly, its the fact that after only six months, they can get their Restricted. That is the part the worries me.
I met this guy at a camp I went to, he had just got his restricted and we were sitting around relaxing when all of a sudden this guy stands up and says: "Who here doesn't know how to drive?" I then said I didn't and he said: "Alright then, I'll teach you", and he pulled some car keys out of his pocket. When I said no he proceeded to appeal saying "Come on, I can do burnouts and everything!" I was just short of horrified that this guy was allowed to driving solo on the roads. I suppose that there will always be irresponsible drivers no matter what the age is. But it got me thinking, how many other 15-16 year olds plan to be "cool" and drive around doing wheel spins, attempting burnouts and driving way too fast. I reckon the would be masses of them, a good 60% of guys at least (I for some reason don't expect girls to drive like that at all). That means that there would be thousands of people hooning around, just trying to kill us. So maybe this driving age change is a good thing, maybe it will sting the responsible drivers, but are they the majority? Or are they the minority? It will be interesting to see if deaths/injury's actually decrease. Although, half of me still thinks that those who have been crashing have been breaking their driving conditions anyway, so they will just continue breaking the rules, even if they change. But I think that some good will come out of this change, but not heaps. I think the longer learners period and having to have a set amount of hours driving time before being allowed to get your licence, will be the things that make a difference.

Dan B