It's funny 'cause it's true


#1

Newest comic from xkcd.com


#2

Snowflake driver… Should never, ever get a license or drive, ever, if they think about driving that way.


#3

I dunno. Looking around at how other people are driving, I think the comic makes a pretty significant point.


#4

Come to Massachusetts - you’ll find a bunch of them there.


#5

What exactly IS that point?


#6

That every day we drive around surrounded by people who may not have had to demonstrate their ability to drive safely in 5+ decades, and perhaps that’s an approach that needs re-thinking.

My mom is in her 70’s. The last time she took an on-the-road driving test was when she was a junior in high school. The only test she has ever had to take since getting her license was an eye test every few years. The state has absolutely no clue whether or not she can safely operate a vehicle, yet they keep taking her money and extending her authorization to do so.

Personally, I find that system to be insane. You should absolutely from time to time have to demonstrate that you can still drive competently in order to continue to be allowed to drive.


#7

Sounds good, but who is going to pay for it? It looks expensive, too.


#8

We already pay for it. My state charges $35 for a driver examination. Charge that $35 for driver re-examinations every 5 years or so.


#9

No Thank You! Florida is crazy enough!


#10

The exam, including a driving test, has to cost a lot more than $35. The rest is subsidized by the general public. I’m not suggesting your idea is bad, just pointing out that it will cost a lot. According to the US Census, the population of MN in 2017 was about 5.5 million. Assume that a quarter of them are drivers, or around 1.4 million. Let’s also guess that both tests will take 2 hours, at $100/hour and double it for overhead. It works out to $100 million per year if the test is administered to everyone on a 5 year interval.


#11

I think your estimates are overly generous. Nothing is required to administer the test except for an examiner, a clipboard, and a sheet of paper and pen. The person being tested provides the vehicle and the gas. I guarantee that examiner isn’t making any $100 an hour! The overhead remains the same (the building and all its furnishings and equipment are still needed whether we re-test or not). The test isn’t anywhere close to 2 hours long.

Now I will acknowledge that there will be additional costs, mostly due to probably having to increase staffing (though less than you may suspect as many examiners do not currently spend their entire shift doing nothing but testing new drivers) but I then ask, so what?

We pay for all sorts of things. We pay for cops in rural towns that see Mayberry levels of crime to have fully kitted-out SWAT teams. We pay for fire trucks in towns that have possibly 2 fires per year. We pay billions of dollars to wage war for cripessake, and we can’t pay to try and correct the problem that bad driving kills nearly 40,000 people per year?

Nah, we can pay for it. We just don’t want to.


#12

So, I assume you’ve had her take a refresher driving course to keep us all safe…

NOT!

;-]


#13

So people should have to take another driver’s test just because they’re old, even if they’ve never had an accident?
And people with numerous accidents and/or drunk driving convictions don’t, because they’re not old?

Anybody else see something wrong with this logic? I mean besides the obvious age discrimination?


#14

I thought I would have to take a driving test to renew my license when I turned 75, but all I had to do was pass the eye exam. I am in Indiana. When I asked why I wasn’t having to take a driving test, I was told that if a person didn’t have any traffic violations or a chargeable accident, no driving test was given.
When I took my driver’s exam back in 1958, I took the test in my parents’ 1954 Buick. That Buick had a manual transmission which wasn’t common in a Buick even back then. The examiner was really impressed with that fact and talked about the car through the driving test. Four years later, my brother took his driver’s test in the same car. By that time, the ring and pinion gear had become noisy. His examiner had been a former mechanic. He had my brother pull over and then the examiner got in the back seat to diagnose whether the noise was in the differential or a wheel bearing.


#15

I’d love to, but as a functioning adult with all her mental faculties, I can’t exactly dictate what she does or does not do. I suspect she’d fail if she did.

No, they should have to take another driver’s test because it’s been X-years since their last one. Nothing to do with age. 30 year olds should be taking it too.


#16

That is IMHO good policy. In NH we also have to take eye exams with every license renewal. Regardless of our age.


#17

Isn’t driving for over a half a century with no accidents or serious infractions evidence of driving competency that’s even better than some academic test? Isn’t that enough of a test?


#18

Interesting.
I took the meaning to be about a 16 year old given the keys after taking the driving test. At least around here, schools don’t really offer Drivers Education anymore- and when they did when I was in school, the class was a complete waste of time.


#19

Dunno how it is where you are, but I spend every commute avoiding wrecks that terrible drivers try to cause. Just because other people are paying attention and prevent a collision when someone does something stupid, it doesn’t mean that person is a good driver.

Put another way, you’re taking the “prove it’s not safe” approach to licensing. I’m taking the “prove it is safe” approach. The approach you take is the approach that’s being used now, and just under 40,000 people per year die under it. The approach I advocate is the approach aviation (including private pilots) takes, and that kills around 400 people per year.

While I wouldn’t expect to reduce traffic deaths to the level of aviation deaths because there are more drivers than pilots, I think it fairly inarguable that making sure a vehicle operator, no matter what vehicle, is competent at operating the vehicle will give us safer vehicle operators.

Or, to turn it around, if your approach is the right one, why are there so many terrible drivers on the roads?


#20

That was the meaning of the cartoon. But when I asked for clarification of the point it was making, this was the response.

From there the thread became a debate about the need for elderly people to have to take refresher courses and pass new driving tests. I disagree with that thinking unless there’s a specific reason to do so, such as an accident or moving infraction that would suggest a need.

I agree that driver training for new young drivers is inadequate. In NH an attempt was made to supplement it by requiring the driver-in-training to spend at least 40 hours training with a parent. That’s an attempt, but a poor one. I spent well over 40 hours actively focused on teaching each of my kids, but I suspect that I’m the exception. I suspect very few parents do so.