Usually I try not to get involved with things like this on facebook with the general public because I often find it hard to not to argue with people especially when I find what they are saying is stupid, and unfortunately arguing with the GP isn't a great idea when you have to work with them every day. Today however I though 'what the hell' and I gave my opinion. It got me thinking though so I am now going to elaborate on what I said on that facebook thread. P.s. I didn't start any fights ;)
A Busso court has granted a temp licence to a driver caught doing 110 ks over the limit in a 5ok area at Margaret River. What do you think?
Here is a link to that thread if you want to see it.
First up, let me explain what an E licence is for those of you who don't know. An extraordinary licence (E Licence) is a licence granted at the discretion of the court. It allows someone who has been disqualified from driving by a court, to drive in certain specified circumstances. It does not apply to people who have lost their licence by accumulating demerit points, those people can apply for 'Double or Nothing' which means that they can elect to be on a good behaviour period for 12 months instead of losing their licence but if they commit a driving offence during that period they lose their licence for double the original disqualification period. Get it? Follow those links for clarification.
Now I only found out about this "Double or Nothing" thing about 5 minutes ago when I was looking up E licences to write this post and haven't really had enough time to have a good think about it in my head but I think I like that idea. I think that is a plan that would actually work. Get too many demerits and get a 3 month driving suspension, opt for Double or Nothing instead and if you fuck up in the next 12 months you lose your licence for 6 months and you cant apply for an E licence. Brilliant!
E Licences however are still available for people who lose their licence all once. Like for drink driving or something like that and I think that is ridiculous. The double or nothing system forces drivers either off the road or to drive good for 12 months, hopefully the good driving will sink in and they'll stick with it. Handing out E licences to people is basically like saying 'hey you really fucked up but don't worry, you can apply for this licence so you can get to work, so having no licence won't put you out too much". What? Really? where is the punishment in that? Boo hoo for them, if they need a licence to get to work, maybe they should have though about that before sinking a 6 pack of beer then driving? They can catch a taxi, a bus, carpool to get to work if they need to. Having no licence will make them lose their job? Well sorry that's just too bad in my opinion. We all know the laws and we are all meant to have some level of common sense. Don't break the law and you won't have to deal with the consequences.
Some people argue back "but Carrie, what if it was a one time thing and they are really sorry and they'll lose their job! That could ruin their family life!" to that I say, if you are responsible for your families income, if you losing your job will result in your family suffering, then how dare you take that risk! Maybe instead of giving out E licences they should offer classes in how to grow the fuck up and take some responsibility for your actions. Secondly, ok so it may have been their first offence, but what if the result of that offence damaged your car? Killed you? Killed your kid? Your parent? Sibling? What if they killed their own family through completely their own reckless actions?
Me, I think our whole licensing system is flawed. Though it's getting slightly better by making kids stay on their L's longer and do more driving hours but how easy are those hours to forge? Driving tests are a simple drive around, park here, go around this roundabout, stop at this stop sign. But are kids taught how to break properly in an emergency? On different road surfaces? How to correct their car if they lose control? It's a joke that we aren't made to learn these extra skills that can save our lives and the lives of other road users. Oh and once we have our licence that's basically it, no re-testing our whole lives. So despite the fact that road rules can change and indeed the way roads are designed in general have changed over time there is no making sure that older drivers still know what they are doing. The amount of times I have seen older people, and I'm talking 40+ not just Nannas and Pops, changing lanes mid roundabout, indicating incorrectly and just display horrendous driving skills is ridiculous. I bet by the time I'm in my 40's the rules and roads will have changed more and more, will by good driving habits now still be good in 30 years time? Doubtful!
What do you think? Do you think E licences are stupid or are they necessary? What is your opinion on Double or Nothing? Do you have a personal experience from losing your licence or a loved one due to bad driving? What do you think about our driver training? Leave it in the comments people I'd love to hear what you have to say!
Love Carrie xoxo xxxx