Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Driving Education - based on Sex Ed...

From the BBC News www site:

"The minimum driving age must be raised from 17 to 18 to stop young people "killing themselves and others", MPs have said.
The Commons transport committee also wants learner drivers to spread lessons over a year before taking the test and a complete alcohol ban for new drivers.
Novice drivers should be banned from carrying passengers aged between 10 and 20 late at night, the report adds."

So MPs are to considering coming down heavily on young drivers. Surely this is the wrong approach. Based on the government's approach to teenage pregnancies and sexual health (as advocated by Brook and fpa), I would suggest the following guidelines:

1 Above all we must not criminalise young drivers or make them feel guilty;

2 Driving is a normal and pleasurable activity enjoyed by many adults: why should we be so hypocritical as to impose a ban on young adults enjoying this as soon as they are p[hysically able to reach the controls?

3 Remember, preaching won't work: simply saying don't drive fast is not realistic;

4 It is natural for young men to wish to drive fast, show off, and be aggressive - and therefore wrong to punish them for, or make them feel bad about, these natural tendencies; it might harm their self-esteem!

5 We should be issuing free crash helmets to all young people who want them, regardless of whether they have a licence, and regardless of age (crash helmets have been proven to save lives...) Denying them this simple safety precaution is tantamount to criminal neglect.

6 Above all we should educate young people on how to drink-drive safely, how to handle corners at high speed and so on, and offer all this education without being at all judgemental. Let's teach safe (or at least safer) driving to all from the age of 10 onwards, when these desires might start in some...

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