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#5 of 44 Re: Driver training in the US is a JOKE [larsb]
Feb 26, 2009 (6:55 am)
These are good ideas no doubt.
I have a question though: WHO teaches a new driver all this? Presently, after a learner's permit, any family member over 21 or any other licenced driver over 21 may do the teaching, and that may not be upto the standards required, and also form the basis of bad habits handed down from generation to generation.
Much of what you say, which I mostly agree with, should already be covered, but is not under the present way of teaching new drivers. So the question of how all these goals you mention can be achieved depends greatly on who does the teaching.
#6 of 44 Re: Driver training in the US is a JOKE [vcheng]
Feb 26, 2009 (7:16 am)
It would be the same people who teach driver's education now. It would just be mandated by the guvmint that they modify the classes in this manner.
#7 of 44 Re: Improving our Drivers, Roads, Speed Limits and Enforcement [jipster]
Feb 26, 2009 (7:16 am)
I like the idea of some kind of re-testing at certain intervals after you first get your driver's license. I got mine at 16 years and 1 day old and have not been tested since. Its been a number of years. Don't know if there is variation state-by-state in the U.S. if some states have regular retesting and others have none.
Of course, restesting is an expense for government and somehow has to be paid. The cost should be paid per a fee charged to the llicensee.
State DOT offices probably do not have the capacity or personnel available to do retesting on regular intervals. DOTs could collaborate if they like to design standardized training/testing packages. Hgih school or community college teachers could be certified to run these courses and do the testing. These courses would be classroom based to start with.
We need some kind of person or organization such as, but not limited to, Obama Cabinet Transp Secty, MADD, IIHS, etc., to champion the cause of better driver training - classroom and road in the U.S.
It is disgusting that we as a nation apparently accept approximately 800 deaths per week in traffic crashes. Add in the thousands of injuries, some putting people in wheelchairs. We would not tolerate terrorists or a war-mongering country attacking and killing/injuring our citizens to the numbers we accept. Apparently, traffic deaths/injuries do not rise to the level of national attention.
#8 of 44 Re: Improving our Drivers, Roads, Speed Limits and Enforcement [xrunner2]
Feb 26, 2009 (7:21 am)
xrunner2 says ,"It is disgusting that we as a nation apparently accept approximately 800 deaths per week in traffic crashes. Add in the thousands of injuries, some putting people in wheelchairs. We would not tolerate terrorists or a war-mongering country attacking and killing/injuring our citizens to the numbers we accept. Apparently, traffic deaths/injuries do not rise to the level of national attention. "
Those are very good points. It is tragic that we allow it and accept it as OK.
#9 of 44 Re: Improving our Drivers, Roads, Speed Limits and Enforcement [larsb]
Feb 26, 2009 (7:28 am)
I agree with this absolutely, that we as a nation have become somewhat de-sensitized to the number of traffic deaths and injuries.
At the same time, merely making laws piled upon existing laws without proper enforcement mechanisms, or all sorts of people and organizations making noble statements without any intelligently though-out actions, is obviously not going to be enough to improve the situation.
Safety, especially safety at speed, requires a lot of resources and has a lot of costs, both start-up as well as on-going. Any suggestions we make here need to have some thoughts related to how one can fund any related costs, direct as well as indirect.
However, WE in this forum can attempt to start changing this.
#10 of 44 Very good board title
Feb 26, 2009 (7:47 am)
Wording is excellent, starting with "Improving", and is inviting and open-ended to allow readers/posters to freely express relevant ideas.
Feb 26, 2009 (7:57 am)
something has to be done about the fact that highway patrol and local police officers have quotas for speeding tickets because they are required to generate revenue for their departments. We have to get these departments dedicated revenue streams on a national or at least statewide basis so that they are free to enforce all the driving laws rather than merely setting up the speed traps and red light traps they do currently,
Perhaps this too should come from the gas tax, since it is directly related to driving and policing of the roads? I know they get part of their funds from there now, but it is a small part.
I will echo the call for MUCH better, institutionalized driver training courses run by either DMV or DOT, that MUST be passed before one can test for a license. Bearing in mind that a license is a privilege, it would be OK to charge prospective drivers a fee to cover the costs of these courses.
#12 of 44 Re: Very good board title [xrunner2]
Feb 26, 2009 (8:04 am)
Why thank you!
#13 of 44 Re: well [nippononly]
Feb 26, 2009 (8:12 am)
We all need a well funded and well trained police force. One sure way to expose these valuable individuals to corruption is not to fund them properly at local, state and federal levels.
However, given resource constraints, the funding can never be open-ended. Further, how do we ensure adequate funding for a small police force in a small mid-western town vs a big police force in a rich suburb on the coasts and every size and situation in between? And how does one keep out local politicians out of this process that will surely want in on this potential gravy train?
#14 of 44 Re: well [nippononly]
Feb 26, 2009 (8:58 am)
Please let me throw in my two cents after 31 years of traffic enforcement. I would dearly love to say there are NO quotas anywhere, but then I lie. But, heres the good thing, at least I feel it is. Lets say department X has an unofficial, unwritten (they always are) quota of 15 traffic citations a week per officer.
Now to take the cheap, easy way out that could be done with speed traps and other cheezy operations, but it doesn't have to be. All you gotta do is enforce dangerous, foolhardy, negligent violations, you can easily meet your quota and you are doing a valuable service to the motoring safety of the public.
No officer ever has to feel he's cheap shotting the public by writing speed trap tickets at 8 MPH over on a dry street with no traffic. Simply do the above and enforce the real dangerous violations, I assure you they are out there in plentitude. Do the job, the real job. And the beauty of this is that no police department administration will find fault with this, the revenue stream is the same, so great, they're happy.
The only possible damper in this is it is slightly harder work, but hell I feel good knowing I removed a selfish, reckless nut from the road for at least a short while.