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Awdz Bodkins

Driver's licenses without road test

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I'm frightened by US state Georgia's passing out driver's licenses without giving road tests.

Parents cooped up with teenagers who want to get out, parents who find having another person to run errands convenient, parents who maybe are not the very best of driving instructors...I can see some dubious choices being made.

I like an unbiased assessment of their capability before new drivers are issued licenses.

 

Driving laws are based on 2 concepts: 1) Do not get into an accident, and 2) Do not cause anyone else to get into an accident.

Most inexperienced drivers think that they are good drivers when they are able to control the car well, but it is paying attention to other lunatics on the road that they cannot control that really steps it up for safer drivers. Most teens still have a lot to learn about paying attention to others' needs/goals more - driving can be deadly if they do not.

 

I would prefer to see a virtual instructor in the car with the prospective driver (teen or otherwise), assessing their ability to drive. We have technology to make this happen - videocams and hands-free communication devices. Why not put that in place instead?

 

What do you think?

Edited by Awdz Bodkins

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100% hard agree. It's not safe to just pass around licenses without full and proper assessment. Inexperienced drivers don't have to be jerks on the road or otherwise directly dangerous in order for something to go wrong. They just need to not know how to respond to the plethora of different situations that can occur on the road.

A few years back, I was sideswiped and shoved into the concrete median strip on the Interstate because a 14 year old boy panicked about what he thought was another driver cutting him off.  His older brother (20 or 21, I think) was teaching him how to drive and had promised their mother not to go on the Interstate.

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I really can't imagine this! In Germany you have to go to a driving school and study first for a theoretical test where you have to prove that you know all rules and regulations, need to do a First Aid course and an eye test and then you have to do a practical test with a licensed examiner.

Here's the full info in this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driving_licence_in_Germany

 

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This is beyond appalling. Is this just a knee jerk reaction to bored teenagers or something ?

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Very much what Astreya said. Geogia's way of things is just bonkers.

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That's crazy! Similar to Germany, we also have to go through an eye test, then you go to driving school where you take 28 hours of theory classes followed by a theory exam. When you pass your theory exam, you go through 32 hours of practical lessons where you drive with a licensed instructor, followed by a driving exam where the examiner is not your instructor. I failed my first exam because I was so nervous I let the car die going uphill (manual gears) OTL If you fail, you have to go through more hours of driving lessons...

 

When I got my license, we didn't have the first aid course but I believe they wanted to implement it. I'm not sure if they ever did.

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I read about this yesterday and was horrified. I failed my road test the first time I applied for my driver's license, and passed the second time. I thought it was bad enough there was no parallel parking included in the road test back when I took it (I had to teach myself how to do it) but the thought of not having to pass a road test is... disturbing. Before I took my road test, I was practicing driving on weekends and was in driving school, and still failed the first time! It should be a requirement.

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This is disturbing.  An actual driving test needs to occur.  Can't they wear masks?

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Can't they just make these people wait until this quarantining is all over with?  It's not like they have anywhere important to go to anyway.  There should be actual tests given by an qualified person before someone is allowed to drive a vehicle. It's just too dangerous to just let anyone do it.

 

On ‎5‎/‎8‎/‎2020 at 1:53 PM, purpledragonclaw said:

I thought it was bad enough there was no parallel parking included in the road test back when I took it

 

I took a drivers test in Salt Lake City, back in 1977 or so, and there was no parallel parking required.  What we did have to do instead was to park and then drive off from a pretty steep hill. Given that that city is surrounded by mountains, I think it was a pretty good idea. 

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Well, I didn't have to deal with these evil little things during my driver's test, but definitely during my practice. Turning a corner backwards - with the corner 100% invisible due to fresh snow. You just couldn't tell where the road ended and the sidewalk began. Or driving off from a pretty steep hill with ice and snow under your car. I didn't manage the last one. Even my (certified!) instructor needed a 2nd try, so I don't feel too bad about it.

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Technology is too early for driving in this moment I think. What we are looking through window and through screen are still quite different.

On 5/8/2020 at 10:31 PM, Astreya said:

I really can't imagine this! In Germany you have to go to a driving school and study first for a theoretical test where you have to prove that you know all rules and regulations, need to do a First Aid course and an eye test and then you have to do a practical test with a licensed examiner.

Here's the full info in this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driving_licence_in_Germany

 

South Korea also take theoretical test first. Then driving course test, and finally road test. I heard complaint that they lowered weight of driving course test and gave more weight to road test in this place. I took the license at one of easiest moment but seems there were various situation was included in driving course.

 

I'm not sure which car is using for drivers' license in US but if those car are belong to instructors or their group, they could place place plastic wall on passenger's seat -

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4 minutes ago, sh20000sh said:

I'm not sure which car is using for drivers' license in US but if those car are belong to instructors or their group, they could place place plastic wall on passenger's seat -

In the USA, you drive for your test using your own vehicle (or the vehicle you're most likely to be driving after obtaining your license). 

 

I had to parallel park during my test. Took the test twice because the first time, despite the overwhelming amount of practice I put into parallel parking, I couldn't get my car to line up within the cones properly to finish the task while also avoiding the cones representing other cars. I also failed my first test because I followed "advice" from my dad saying it's always okay for me to go up to 5 miles over the speed limit, that it was okay to crawl if I was at a far enough distance while waiting for people to cross the parking lot, and because I didn't exaggerate my movement when looking over my shoulder (I'm small, so I often have to make a big show of it to be noticed). Second time, I passed with a high B. Last I knew, you had to pass with an 80%-85% score in my state but that was 8 years ago. 

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I just stumbled over a pretty good video talking about everything around driving in Germany, if people are interested:

 

 

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That's all SO sensible. Except Schauer on speed limits :angry: 

 

One thing she DIDN'T mention that anyone going there needs to know is that you are legally required to carry a first aid kit (there are specific requirements about what has to be in it) and that if there's an accident. you have to give it to any cop who asks, to use at the scene. I have never found out what happens when you drive away from the scene after handing over your kit - which will mean that you don't have one for a bit... It worries me !

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Well, speed limits are a bit of a sore spot for us Germans, no kidding. I'm all for a sensible speed limit on the Autobahn, though.

 

But there's a development that actually starts to annoy me to no end: 30 km/h in places where there's no apparent reason for this. And, newest thing ever, around schools and kindergartens, you suddenly have to drive 30 during the week (Mon-Fri, 7 AM to 5 PM). Even during the holidays or Corona lockdown. And, well, that's the kind of speed limit you have to take care not to break with your bicycle, it's that slow. Not to mention that play streets are cropping up wherever there's a number of new residential builings grouped together. :( 

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@Fuzzbucket

Now that you mention it - you are also required to have  a "Warnweste" (a signal yellow or signal orange  high-visibility vest) in your car - in Germany at least one for the driver, in other EU countries one for each person in a car (which is IMO actually more sensible). You are supposed to wear these when you had an accident (and can still run around afterwards) or your car broke down and you wait for help and/or the police so that you are better visible and no one runs you over. In Germany they have of course a DIN approval, and the same goes for the first aid kit (and the latter needs not to be past a certain "best before" age.

 

@olympe

I totally agree about the ubiquitous 30km zones in cities. I think they actually make things unsafer (at least in my case) as I look more onto the speedometer to keep within the limit than onto the streets.

 

Edited by Astreya

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@Astreya You forgot to mention the warning triangle that's also a necessary item in any car.

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@olympe you're talking about school zones. The USA has them in the states at 15 mph. Yes it's slow, but it's temporary. Schools have so much traffic in the morning and in the afternoon. During the day, it's not uncommon for older kids to step outside during lunch breaks or during a free period (aka no scheduled class for an hour). The reduced speed is to keep the children and their parents and teachers safe from being hit by a car moving much faster. 

For one thing, my dad only needed to drive some 25-30 miles per hour for a kid on a bike to go through his windshield decades ago. 

 

Honestly, the "inconvenience" of you having to drive slower than you want to be able to comes second to making sure people don't get hurt.

 

As it stands, my state had a serious string of hit-and-runs at a few different schools because some adults weren't following traffic laws and slowing down.

 

Same thing in the residential areas/roads. There are so many people likely to be around and outside at any given time. Small children have a bad habit of running out into the streets. USA has it at 25 miles per hour in such areas but too many people still like to drive too fast, often around blind corners, and put people at serious risk.

Edited by ValidEmotions

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Let me tell you that, aside from the "rush hours" you mentioned, kindergarden and primary schools don't let the children outside their grounds during school/kindergarten hours. The kids just don't step out. The stepping out - with parental permission - can start somewhere around 6th to 8th grade (I think it was 8th, though). And, seriously, 13+-year-olds should be able to watch where they're going. There's no reason whatsoever to enforce a slow speed limit pretty much all day long for hundreds of meters in all directions for something that doesn't happen. Especially not during times where it's guaranteed to not be able to happen at all (holidays, lockdown...)

One of those areas I'm talking about has a traffic light only a couple of meters beside the school ground's exit. And yet, hundreds of meters in all direction have that lower speed limit just because.

 

Edited by olympe

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Because there are families that walk the entire length of the street. People who don't have a car, don't just up and vanish off the road as soon as they step off the immediate property.

There are children who arrive late for school or leave early for doctor's appointments/family emergencies/due to not feeling well. They don't just come and go at the exact beginning/ending of the school day. 

Just because they're over a certain age, doesn't mean they're automatically going to be paying attention. Hell. Not a lot of adults do it themselves, regardless if they're walking or driving. You are in your car, behind your wheel, safe from a lot of physical harm. A pedestrian isn't. A child most especially not. An adult can survive having their legs busted by a car's front bumper whereas it could be a child's head hitting the same place. 

 

But, I'm incredibly sorry that you are so egregiously inconvenienced by having to drive careful and slow for a designated span of some half-mile stretch. I mean... they're only human lives that are involved.

 

On holidays--the warning signals are often only programmable on a basis of "What days and times to you want in any given week?" They have to be turned off by someone just before any extended vacation time. Not every human being remembers to get the lights when they're the last one out. Sometimes they remain on for the summer classes. And the lockdown? Not exactly something people could plan for and make a sticky note saying "don't forget the lights on this day!" 

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I'm another who supports those lower speed limits around schools. In the UK an increasing number of towns have a 20mph  (30 kph) limit all the time. It irritates at times - but on the other hand when someone steps out it is noticeably easier to stop. Towns should be more for pedestrians than for cars, really. Otherwise you end up with a wall of traffic and a dead city.

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49 minutes ago, ValidEmotions said:

Because there are families that walk the entire length of the street. People who don't have a car, don't just up and vanish off the road as soon as they step off the immediate property.

There are children who arrive late for school or leave early for doctor's appointments/family emergencies/due to not feeling well. They don't just come and go at the exact beginning/ending of the school day. 

Just because they're over a certain age, doesn't mean they're automatically going to be paying attention. Hell. Not a lot of adults do it themselves, regardless if they're walking or driving. You are in your car, behind your wheel, safe from a lot of physical harm. A pedestrian isn't. A child most especially not. An adult can survive having their legs busted by a car's front bumper whereas it could be a child's head hitting the same place. 

 

But, I'm incredibly sorry that you are so egregiously inconvenienced by having to drive careful and slow for a designated span of some half-mile stretch. I mean... they're only human lives that are involved.

 

On holidays--the warning signals are often only programmable on a basis of "What days and times to you want in any given week?" They have to be turned off by someone just before any extended vacation time. Not every human being remembers to get the lights when they're the last one out. Sometimes they remain on for the summer classes. And the lockdown? Not exactly something people could plan for and make a sticky note saying "don't forget the lights on this day!" 

People that aren't there cannot be hit by a car. Kids that attend neither kindergarten nor school (due to covid, for example) can't get hit by a car in front of a school they don't attend.

Kids that get brought in late by their parents - well, those parents could park really close to the school in question so the child doesn't even have to cross a road. Because rush hour is over.

 

According to your reasoning, wherever pedestrians might be occasionally, we probably shouldn't drive any faster than a pedestrian walks - for safety reasons. After all, even adults can get hit by a car...

And the signs I'm talking about aren't programmed, they're fixed. With an extra sign determining the times the rules apply underneath.

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Well, I mean technically you are supposed to slow down (preferably stop) wherever a pedestrian shows up and crosses the street. Even if it isn't in a crosswalk and they don't have the right of way on any given day. Otherwise, you risk hitting them and, at least in the USA, it would put the driver at fault for the accident that occurs. 

 

If your signs are just metal posts, no lights, then you need to call your local enforcers and ask "hey, are these signs in effect during the lockdown/holidays because there are no schools in session?" 

 

Not every child who is late to school is getting there by car. There are many who walk to school. I was one of them because my mom had to be at work long before my classes even started when I was on time. I also had to walk home because she wasn't off until long after I was done. Just because you aren't witnessing it, doesn't mean it never happens. 

 

And accidents aren't limited to rush hours. 

 

I don't understand why you, a person who's posted several times in other places that you take care of other human beings after a certain age, seem to be so against taking every precaution to ensure human safety. Are you and your day so important that driving 20 mph (which is faster than the 15 in my country) for two minutes (more like 45 seconds) is such a giant bother if it means you aren't causing the loss of a life? 

There are so many drivers as it is that cause accidents because they don't bother paying attention to the road.

 

People seem to not realize. Getting a license and being able to drive isn't about "me me me me and my freedom!" It's about the lives of others on the road. You have to ensure that you are not putting someone else's life at risk by following safety laws and paying attention. When you get behind the wheel, it is no longer about you and your needs. It is about what you are going to do to keep others safe.

Edited by ValidEmotions

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29 minutes ago, ValidEmotions said:

Not every child who is late to school is getting there by car. There are many who walk to school. I was one of them because my mom had to be at work long before my classes even started when I was on time. I also had to walk home because she wasn't off until long after I was done. Just because you aren't witnessing it, doesn't mean it never happens. 

 

And accidents aren't limited to rush hours. 

 

Absolutely agree. MORE children should walk to school. The large majority - in the UK anyway - who arrive by car live within easy walking distance of the place. They could use the exercise and if they walked that would significantly cut pollution too.

 

This is happening in the UK just now:

 

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/may/09/uk-councils-to-enforce-temporary-road-closures-for-safer-school-runs

 

Most people I know hope it stays in place afterwards.

 

And yes, we should all drive slowly anywhere where there might be pedestrians. As my daughter was told by her driving instructor, years ago:

 

"If a pedestrian walks out in front of you, they always have right of way. The law takes a very dim view of your running them over."

 

When driving, you are in charge of a potentially lethal weapon. Basically, you should always be able to stop for a pedestrian. You should in any case be aware of the people on the sidewalk. It's very rare indeed that someone steps out close enough to your car to make that impossible. Especially at 20 mph.

Edited by Fuzzbucket

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Well, getting back on topic.

 

The road test is not a 100% guaranteed thing, as in, it's not like if you pass your road test, you're automatically a great driver. I think that's important to keep in mind. I don't know that these kids avoiding their road tests is this catastrophic, apocalypse-inducing event. I still think they should take the road test, but it's not a test that's as accurate of driving skills as you'd think. You're in a car with a stranger, who is testing your every action, along just one specific road. I can think of quite a few things that would impact someone's driving in that situation that would make it very difficult to fully test how ready someone is to drive.

 

Speaking for what I've experienced and observed with others, that is.

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