Archive for February 25th, 2006

Overhauling Licence Laws

Surgeons are being very careful about the way they ask for the minimum licencing age to be increased, by putting it somewhere in the middle of a request for uniform licence laws. The useful and interesting part of their request is this statement by Dr Russel Stitz, President of The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

The parts of the brain that address reasoning and impulsive behaviour don’t fully mature until the age of 25 particularly in males, so if we’re looking at processes to improve the road toll in those age groups then patently we need to take that into consideration

I must say that I agree with this, although I do think some people mature at an earlier age than others. What we really lack in our licencing system is a rigorous common sense test, and car power restrictions.
Having been through college and seen many friends gain licences and subsequently add more lunacy to the roads, I really think we shouldn’t be letting anyone learn to drive until at least 18 years of age. In my view, driving a motor vehicle is an inherently adult activity, and something which requires a truly mature person with a level head.

Despite this minimum, I am not proposing that we merely increase the minimum ages for various driving activities, I am also suggesting that training should be longer and harder, with a requirement for a professional instructor (either an instructor or someone who drives for a living such as a bus or truck driver with a clean record), and we need some kind of common sense test. The last part may be hard to implement, but it would certainly save a lot of carnage. I would also force drivers to resit these tests every five years, and existing drivers to be bound by the new laws. Yes, that means removing a lot of people who would be underage under the new laws from the roads.

I would also remove licence fees, for those with a clean record, but increase them by $100 for every demerit point accumulated. I would also overhaul the demerit point system to be tougher.

Some may see these ideas as draconian measures, but if we are serious about saving lives on our roads, then we need to consider this kind of thing, and this is a good start. It would probably remove about 20% of road users, but they would be the 20% likely to kill you or your family, the 20% who don’t consider the consequences of travelling 30km/h over the speed limit on a wet and bendy road, the 20% that really shouldn’t have been issued with licences in the first place.

Draconian…maybe, sensible…yes!


15 comments February 25th, 2006 at 10:39pm

Local Loonies Do Get Confused

You may recall that in the Blog View Stats for January I noted that a website called Syndicate Motor Sports were the 2nd top referrer for the month, delivering 295 page views. I also mentioned them about a week ago, when one of their readers recognised me.

During a recent check of the referring sites for this month, I noticed an unusual spike in the number of people coming here from that site, and decided to take a look and see what was bringing them here, as it turned out, they had managed to confuse themselves over the details of their reader’s encounter with me.

For one reason or another, despite everything I had written, some of them were convinced that I was talking about someone yelling out of a car window. First, take a look at what I wrote.

Today, as I went to have lunch at Coffee @ Helen’s, one of the staff recognised me.

I went on to say

upon walking into Coffee @ Helen’s, I was greeted by this person with “You’re the infamous Samuel Gordon-Stewart”.

Now, let’s have a look at what Syndicate Motor Sports member “DRAG DIS” said

Hahahahah that was me who spotted him. I was with a mate who screamed out summernats.
I think though he may have a small brain, and might be quite unintelligent.
1. I do not work at coffe @ helens. The only male that does works behind the counter (not buying food) and is Of Asian appearance, and I am of caucasian appearance. I do not know how this point can be confused.
2. He also mentioned he had not seen me working their before. Thats because i have never worked their. This guy is delirious.
2. I am unsure why he did not mention the summernats roar my friend made , and his disgusted look. He neglected to mention that.
What a tripper

I don’t know who this “DRAG DIS” is, although for someone judging the brain size of others he certainly has a lot of talent when it comes to spelling and numbering lists. There are two possibilities here, either I imagined having lunch and meeting a Syndicate Motor Sports reader, or they are referring to the wrong incident. As you probably guessed, it is the latter.

The person who recognised me was working for Coffee @ Helen’s, he was the person who served me and many other customers and, contrary to the assertions of “DRAG DIS”, Coffee @ Helen’s have more than one staff member.

I do vaguely recall the incident referred to by “DRAG DIS”, although it could be any of a number of similar incidents. I think “DRAG DIS” is referring to an incident which occured somewhere around the Civic Bus Interchange where somebody in a moving car made a loud noise, whether this was them yelling something or just making a noise I do not know. I doubt that they understand the fact that simply because they know what they are yelling does not neccessarily mean that anybody else does, especially when they are on the other side of the road in a noisy area yelling out of a moving vehicle.

In related news, as I was taking Nattie for a walk today and waiting to cross Ainslie Avenue, somebody driving a white commodore which had just taken a left turn onto Ainslie Avenue from Limestone Avenue moved into the right hand lane without indicating, put their right arm out the window and started making unusual arm shaking gestures towards me, which they ceased shortly after passing me. It is a pity that I didn’t have a video camera to record the incident and hand the tape into the police so that they could penalise the driver for not indicating when changing lane.


14 comments February 25th, 2006 at 10:28pm


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