Does Graduated Licensing work?
The good part of graduated licensing is that it allows new drivers, of any age, to practice a little more often before trying to get fully licensed. What boggles my mind is when a provincial or state government reduces the amount training time that new drivers have to take in order to get credit for driver training. Meaning; they reduce in-car and classroom time for the new driver to save them time and money. Does saving $200 or $300 make you a safer driver? Does cheap training make you a better driver? Does this form of training reduce road deaths and injury? The answer to all of these questions is a firm NO!
And what measures are in place to monitor the driver training industry in that jurisdiction? Can anyone open up a driving school and just teach what they want? What gives that person a license to teach driver training? I know I’m asking a lot of questions, but shouldn’t our government be thinking of these questions before they make them into practice?
If the government is trying to reduce road deaths, they need to do something about it that’s measurable. Telling people to drive better doesn’t work. New need to be educated and trained properly; not just spend time behind the wheel. You can only practice what you know. I’m sure you remember hearing the statement that practice makes perfect? It’s not true. Practice makes permanent. It makes it into a habit. If you practice something the wrong way, it becomes a habit. That’s why proper training is needed and enough of it is needed to make it worthwhile.
All forms of government need to take education as a serious solution to road deaths and injury for all new drivers. Give the new drivers what they need; not what they want. They need classroom time to plant the seed of information in their minds to allow the in-car time to be more valuable. it will give the new driver time to absorb the information before they have to attempt it in the car. Plus, it allows for repetition. They need enough in-car time to allow for repetition and testing of understanding. Without testing for understanding, you have no idea if the new driver can think like a driver and make proper driving choices.
And don’t forget that not all driving schools are the same. Drivers of all ages need to improve their cognitive training to allow them to see, think and react safer and sooner. http://thesafedriver.ca/2010/04/26/driving-schools-arent-all-the-same/
Thirty hours of in-car training is common in most of Europe, so why do North American governments feel they can “get by” with 4, 6, 8 or 10 hours of in-car training? It’s so unrealistic that people think they can learn how to safely handle a vehicle in that short period of time. Thinking this way can add to the problem of injury and death, not to the solution of safer roads.
The best way to ensure the new driver is getting enough training is to practice often with them and let them make choices without your help. Only help them if you need to. If you do, they’re not ready to attempt their road test as of yet. Consider yourself the “government” and dictate the number of in-car hours the new driver needs. After all, someone has to act responsible.