I think the time has come to admit that the driving test is simply not enough to keep our driver and roads safe. Standards deteriorate, attititudes change, and knowledge decays.
I believe we now need to introduce Mandatory Driver Refresher Training for all licence holders, to be carried out before the reissue of the photocard licence, ie. every 10 years. Up to 5 hours with a qualified driving instructor, there would be no test.
It is evident from some of the ideas posted here already that attitudes to what makes safe driving are very different, and in some instances, those attitiudes are dangerous. The cost to society of fatalities and injuries is enormous, in terms of loss of life or recovery, to the financial cost of dealing with and clearing up after the incidents. Most drivers simply will not take responsibility for safe driving.
There has been a lot of debate regarding the standards of our newly qualified drivers and the danger they face during their first two years. The reality is that many come to a driving instructor with poor standards already engrained into them by their parents and their peers. The driving instructor has somewhere in the region of 40 hours to change that, and its simply not enough. Once they have passed, their standards slip because the poor standard they see is what they will come to accept is the norm.
So, 5 hours of refresher training to be completed by all drivers every ten years. This, I reckon, will be poorly received by most, but it is a direction we have to take. Attitudes must change.
Why is this idea important?
The statistics that are published in terms of fatalities and serious injury have been questioned….it is debatable as to how accurate they truely are. However, any improvement we can make, however small, has to be worth it.
'Accidents' (and I quote that way because I believe there are very very few true accidents), can be prevented in most cases by drivers taking responsibility for safe driving. For example, if a driver feels the need to speed, then they are planning their journey poorly and puuting others lives at risk.
Mandatory Refresher Training will save lives and will have huge financial benefits too. Collisions cost local councils huge amounts of money, in terms of medical assistance and transport, police intervention and post incident investigation. The effect on victims and their families is incalculable. The sad fact is that with a little more thought and responsibility of the average driver, many of these incidents can be prevented. And at the end of the day, who wants to have a crash?