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Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!
Riffing off a tangent in chat, we got to talking about learner permit requirements and driver safety and... stuff.
So, I'm aware that drivers ed in the US is basically a horrible joke (some classes in high school, minimal supervision, and judging by the last few H/A threads I've read, pretty shit instruction quality. Don't bother arguing that last...), but tighter controls elsewhere don't necessarily produce awesome results, and often just make it harder for young drivers to gain experience.
For instance, in QLD and NSW (Australia), learners have be supervised by a sober someone holding an 'open' license at all times, and those under 25 have to fill out a supervised logbook, much like a pilots license. In QLD, its 100 hours, with 10 at night, and the first ten hours with a certified instructor counts as 30. You have a book in which you write down the start and end times, the odo readings, the license number and signature of your supervisor each time you drive. In NSW, its 120 hours now, and learners are banned from travelling >80k, which theoretically means they can't drive on highways but practically means that they're just outer-lane safety hazards. Once they've logged the hours and passed a practical test, there are two stages of provisional license, the first of which involves a restriction on high-powered cars and a curfew on carrying passengers. Both involve a BAC of zero at all times rather than 0.05. Learners and provisional license holders also have to wear tags on their vehicle.
European and UK requirements seem to be somewhere in the middle of the two above examples, but I'd appreciate any further input on that front. I think its safe to continue assuming that learning to drive in most less developed countries is basically a matter of finding a car and messing with the pedals until you stop bouncing off things? Still, input is good there too!
Anyway the Aussie system looks pretty good on paper and has resulted in some decreases in fatalities and stupid accidents, but its pretty hard on kids living outside suburbia, away from suitable supervisors, without a car of their own etc etc yada yada. So there's a lot of logbook faking and unsupervised learners sneaking about*, and still a hard core of complete fucking idiots who go thrashing their car with 4 mates at 140km/h on poor country roads at 2am after having a skinful. And dying horribly.
So, what's the forum thoughts on hardware speed-limiting cars? I'm really quite pro-speed-limiting anything driven by anyone under 25 to a max speed of 80 or 90km/h - even if they crash, the odds of dying are rather lower at that speed. It seems a sensible compromise here - 60 is too slow to let anyone on to a trunk road, let alone a highway, but I'm sure there are Germans having hysterics while reading this because of Autobahns.
My flatmate is a bit more hardcore, and wants learners capped at 60km/h and everyone speed limited by RFID signals coming from street signs and interacting with the car's computer. And he's a hoon with a fancy car who likes to drive fast, so you don't get to call him names.
I think that's theoretically a good idea, but a) there goes most of the police services' revenue and b) you can't speed-limit old cars easily (or at all, if they're old enough) without making major physical modifications. Plus, I think there should be more places where you can take your car and let loose, once you're on an open license. Because its fun.
So, thoughts? I'm especially excited to hear from the libertarian crew. You know I love you guys.
NB: I don't really care about gender differences in accident rates and severity or any of that shit, I'm just interested in less young people actually dying/killing others in cars. And, perhaps, very old people too.