Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Yes, please raise the driving age!

Woohooo. Just finished my Sunday sermon! And happy with it too! :-) Ok ... more youth news.
I think this is long overdue! I refused to allow my son permission to sit for his Driver's license till he was 17. He has since passed and my not allowing him to drive before he was 16 (learner's permit) has I believe resulted in my having a peace of mind when he drives as I had a year of him practicing driving with me in the front passenger seat!
If someone is not considered matured enough to work or vote, how can you let them drive!?! 17 would be a better age to get a learner's permit but 16 is a good start.

And yes, please ... zero tolerance on alcohol limits. I think it is ridiculous that many NZers are proud of their binge drinking "culture" and lax attitude towards alcohol consumption!

I am still amazed though that here a person can still drive without car insurance!

Ok the Herald Report ...

New Zealand's minimum driving age is likely to rise by one year to 16 under a Government road safety strategy to be unveiled tomorrow.

The restricted driving test will also be toughened, to encourage youngsters to spend more time practising under supervision before going solo.

And all drivers aged under 20 face a zero alcohol limit, but with some leniency for those found with just tiny traces in their blood.

But the Government has put off a decision on the adult alcohol limit.

New Zealand youngsters are 60 per cent more likely than their Australian counterparts to die in crashes - a comparison seen by Transport Minister Steven Joyce as "a sad indictment."

They suffer an average of about 21 deaths a year for every 100,000 in their age group, compared with Australia's rate of 13.

A decision in principle by the Government to raise the driving age by one year represents a compromise, given greater apparent public support for lifting it to 17.

That, and imposing a zero blood alcohol limit for certain categories of drivers, shared second place in the preferences of more than 1200 people who responded to a public invitation to rank 61 ideas for improving safety.

Compulsory third party vehicle insurance proved the most popular idea, but the Government believes high existing coverage - of more than 92 per cent of the national fleet - means it is unlikely that added gains would outweigh hefty administration costs.

The widow of a man killed by a 15-year-old driver said last night that increasing the education and supervision given to young drivers was just as important as increasing their age.

Kathy Condon's husband, Graham, a Christchurch City councillor and Paralympian, died when a teenager failed to take a corner and crashed into his cycle in September 2007.

The girl was in breach of her restricted licence by carrying four other passengers at the time.

Mrs Condon said she remained convinced that distraction in the car caused the girl to crash.

She said she and her husband had not let their two children learn to drive until they were older than 16, because they felt 15 was too young.

Mrs Condon said she would like to see the legal driving age pushed up to 17 but if it was raised to 16, that was "certainly an improvement on 15".

For the rest of the report, click HERE

Here's a really funny joke related to this blog topic) that I got in the mail today ...

This young man was elated when he turned eighteen in a state where curfew is 11:00 p.m. for anyone under seventeen years of age.

He told his Dad how happy he was that now he could stay out until 3:00 a.m. if he wanted.

"Yes you can stay out as late as you want, but the car is under seventeen and it has to be in the garage by eleven." His father said.

And more news on NZ driving laws...

The Government is considering lowering the alcohol limit for adult drivers as part of a range of measures announced today to make roads safer.

Young drivers, drunk drivers and motorcyclists are also targeted in the new Transport Ministry 10-year road safety strategy Safer Journeysreleased by Transport Minister Steven Joyce this morning.

Mr Joyce also indicated that the give-way rules, which he described as "confusing", could be changed to bring New Zealand into line with the rest of the world.

In brief, the Government is considering:

* Changing the give-way rules
* Lowering the alcohol limit from 80mg/100ml bloodto 50mg/100ml
* A zero blood alcohol limit for recidivist drink drivers
* A zero blood alcohol limit for those aged under 20
* Compulsory alcohol interlocks
* Reviewing traffic offences and penalties for drink drivers
* Raising the driving age to 16
* Making young drivers undergo 120 hours supervised driving
* A power to weight ratio for young drivers and novice motorcyclists
* Requiring licensing of mopeds
* Measures to improve motorcycle rider training
* A classification system for the roading network

For the whole report, click HERE

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