Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Got A License For That Thing?

We have licenses to allow military personnel into nuclear facilities, but can they drive?
Get a license for your vehicle, they said, you can't drive without one. But what does a driver's license actually say about your skill as a driver? Pretty much not a damn thing.

This matters to cyclists because we are at risk every day we ride in public by drivers who may, or most likely not, be very good at actually driving. It's pretty ridiculous, actually. Think about the following:
  • We make semi-tractor trailer drivers actually prove their skill at driving.
  • We actually make motor cyclist prove their proficiency at handling a motor cycle. 
  • Race car drivers are held to high standards for driving skill.
But every day drivers can pretty much waltz right into their living rooms, fire up a computer, and order up an extension on their license for years. Young people are sent through a rudimentary driver's education class, charged an exorbitant fee, and when they pass, they get a license to drive without ever having to show their skill set in driving a car. Then they are never tested again for the remainder of their lives. 

Wut, wut?!! 

So, maybe you are one of those that thinks I belong on a bicycle path. Get offa my roads! You don't want to have to "deal with me". Okay, so like the bicycle path I went by yesterday with a smashed bench where a car went right across the path? Hmm.....yeah. Bicycle paths will keep me safe from blithering idiots that cannot slow down in inclement weather. Right........

Anyway, I've said it for years, (and this article prompted me to remember) cars and trucks are too easily gotten by unskilled drivers and are too easy to drive in the first place. 

You want to license cyclists? I'm good with that if you have to prove your acumen in a car/truck every three years for the rest of your life. Not by some "pat on the back", wink-wink testing procedure either, but a Bondurant driving school type testing procedure. If you don't know how to safely make evasive maneuvers, when to use slower speeds in inclement weather, or ......pay attention, then why in the world should you be allowed a license to pilot a potential 5,000lb death machine?

The answer is that you shouldn't. Period.



Piperguy416 said...

Amen. I've said for years that it is far too easy to obtain and keep an Iowa driver's license (probably all other states too).

William Rossman said...

Also, a license to drive is not seen as a privilege these days. People take it for granted that no matter what sins they commit behind the wheel they will always be able to legally drive. I just don't understand why we still allow former convicted drunk drivers and killers of pedestrians and cyclists to still legally operate motor vehicles. If you commit such crimes, your privilege should be taken away forever. Zero tolerance. People would be a lot more careful, safe drivers if they had that hanging over their head. Instead people disregard fellow human beings' lives to save a few seconds.

Glenn said...

The other angle to this problem is that a lot of our built up environment assumes automobile ownership. So much of our suburban environment requires driving to perform your day to day tasks. That is unfortunate, in that the choice of how to move around is taken away (the choice of commuting and shopping by bicycle, bus, walking, etc.) in the name of "freedom" of the automobile. When an automobile is required, is it really freedom?
But again, yes. "Drivers".

Steve Fuller said...

I have a Class B CDL. I have to go in to the DOT to renew my license, but I have not had to take either a written or a driving test to renew my CDL, which I found surprising. The CDL practical test was a good 2.5 hours, and consisted of a pre-drive inspection, followed by maneuvers in a parking lot, and then an open road test. If you failed one part, you didn't get to go onto the next one. This was on top of the three written tests for the CDL itself, plus the air brake and passenger endorsements. It was a lot of work to get the CDL.

Rainier Wolfcastle said...

I like you when you're angry.