2011-05-29

Remedial Driving, Make Mandatory

We have a lot of drivers driving badly here. It's common practice for the driving public to speed, disobey traffic signs and signals, park where they shouldn't, engage in reckless behaviour and willingly break the traffic laws.

In recent years, Bermuda adopted a points demerit system which when added to the system of fines, was supposed to encourage Bermuda's roads to be safer for all. I'm not sensing much change at all in our road habits and there doesn't seem to be any further motive to arrest this trend.

Perhaps Government feels that it has done all that it can, and Police, cash-strapped and resource-thin, aren't in the best position to encourage safer driving on the roads. We have littering laws that aren't enforced, a joke of a tinted window ban that most drivers bypass, a cell phone usage law which Police can't implement and a public that know that most days they can do whatever they want without fear of getting penalised.

And no, the fear of 'getting into an accident' is a non-starter, because bike riders feel that car drivers will do anything to avoid getting dinged, so they meander in and out of traffic without fear, while car drivers are too quick to blame everybody else for their bad driving habits while they're forgetting to indicate or repair their brake lights.

The next stage must be this: mandatory rehab. Anybody who has accumulated enough demerit points to become disqualified from driving, should have to go through a series of remedial driving classes, both theory and practical, before their licence is restored. It's not drummed into their heads enough, particularly the aspects of speeding and "due care", on how we should expect our drivers to act.

Our vehicles are larger and more powerful, while our roadways have not widened or been strenghtened. It ought to be imperative for drivers to recognize this, but too few do. Hence the myriad of busted fenders, broken side-mirrors and insurance claims.

I'll admit such a proposal in this economy may be far-fetched (although it should merit discussion at least once before the next budget cycle). But it seems too much of a good common-sense approach to just wave away as a pie-in-sky dream.

3 comments:

Bill said...

How about an insurance surcharge? That would have the advantage of raising revenue for better enforcement.

I'm only an occasional visitor, so I may have made a suggestion that you already use.

Bill

Bad Drive said...

Here's an app that lets you vent your road rage and rate bad driver online.

Bad Driving said...

Here's an app that lets you vent your road rage and rate bad driver online.http://www.driver-ratings.com/