Just like Oregon. I studied the driver manual, passed the written test when I turned 15 in 1967. I paid 50 cents and had a learner permit which was valid until I was issued a driver license. When I turned 16 I passed the driving test, paid $2 and was issued a driver license valid for 1 year. I think I renewed it twice when it became $4 for 2 years. It was to save the state administration costs. I had just sold my second motorcycle in 1972 when they invented a required motorcycle endorsement for our driver license. I still occasionally rode friends motorcycles so I decided to get the endorsement. There was only a driving test (was the examiner going to ride on the back?) I borrowed a friend’s nearly new Honda 125cc Elsinore. It was a combination street/off road bike similar to my first motorcycle a 1964 Honda 305cc ‘Scrambler’. The test was a total joke! The examiner checked that required lights on the bike worked and had me ride around the block mostly out of his sight. When I returned I passed. Sometime later they went to a Photo laminated $8 driver license valid for 4 years. Then decided to mail renewal forms for us to fill out and mail with $8 for a 4 year extension sticker that was applied to our driver license. January 1974 I moved to California. I had to surrender my Oregon Driver license and be issued a California driver license. No tests. When I moved back to Oregon in 1976 I surrendered my California Driver license and was reissued my Oregon driver license with the original 1968 ID number. In 1979 I needed a CDL. A written test allowed me to operate everything up to tractor with double trailers. My 2008 driver license was good for 8 years as was my 2016. Oregon is saving so much money in administration costs they should be paying us to renew our driver license. They instead keep raising the cost! How about a written test every 8 years? Failure? give them 30 days to study the driver manual and re-test. Failure? Give them one more chance with an enhanced driving test. Failure? No driver license for you!
I would be willing to take a driving test. In fact, I would be willing to take the test in a manual transmission car, preferably one with a three speed column shift with no synchronisation on first gear. I’ll bet I could double clutch and shift from second to first without grinding the gears. Even at 76, I still have good night vision.
Mrs. Triedaq thinks it is good for us to get new cars so we can keep up with the latest features. It’s good preventitive medicine against Geezerits to keep up with new things. If it weren’t for Mrs. Triedaq, I would still be driving a car with a column shift 3 speed manual transmission with a hand choke and the starter pedal on the floor. We would also still have a 10" round screen black and white television, and I would use the keypunch to prepare Hollerith cards to get on the computer.
Seriously, I think it is important for people my age to keep abreast of new products. For example, I had to learn to use the backup camera in my 2011 van. I had to learn to pair my smart phone with the audio system in my last two minivans. I want to keep as young as possible for 2 reasons:1) there are a lot more people on this Cartalk board I want to irritate; 2) I don’t want to croak because I know where the hell I’ll be going.
We have little choice! Every time I get comfortable with a new technology it becomes obsolete!
Re: “I am allowed to do b/c I took a 20 minute test in high school”
Don’t most states still require teenagers take a multi-week driver’s education course, then pass a DMV written test and a road test before getting their adult license?
Re: Road testing for older drivers?
There’s a lot to be said for that idea. It would definitely be a burden for those who already drive safely, but it still may be worth it in order to get a few very poor drivers off the road. Most older drivers are actually better than the younger drivers, or at least more safe, b/c they tend to go a little slower and be more considerate and cautious. But there are a f ew older drivers I see now and then who seem to have some serious vision and/or coordination problems.
I think my late father had you beat
After I got my learner’s permit, he went driving with me for a YEAR before he allowed me to go for the actual driver’s license
He went driving with me several evenings during the week, and every day on the weekend, for several hours. He made a point to have me drive in all kinds of weather, hot, cold, rain, snow, ice, fog, day, night, etc. And he also made sure to go on very long drives with me, to see if I could stay focused.
By the time I took my driver’s license test, I was quite confident, and the test was a breeze.
So I’d say my dad spent hundreds of hours driving with me, before allowing me to take the actual driver’s license test.
As for driver’s ed . . . in my school, it was kind of a joke. The classroom part met the criteria, but barely. The instructor-led part wasn’t that good, either. For one thing, the instructor’s car was badly underpowered, to the point the kids had trouble getting the car up to speed, and it was a struggle to keep up with traffic. Not the best vehicle for teaching somebody. Each kid was allotted very little time behind the wheel. I sure hope they were also driving with their parents, because driver’s ed alone wasn’t enough, in my opinion.
Comparing aviation deaths to auto deaths using just the raw numbers is a lot like comparing horseback riding deaths to auto deaths. Only a small handful of people fly airplanes, nearly everybody drives a car. Even those who own airplanes typically fly less than 50 hours per year.
When using deaths per 100 million passenger miles, airplanes, particularly general aviation, does not look that safe any more.
I’ve spent much of my life around aircraft. IMHO aircraft are extremely safe, including general aviation aircraft. But I agree that they can’t be used as a comparison for judging car safety. They’re totally, absolutely, entirely, different things.
The single biggest thing by far that makes cars unsafe is the loose nuts behind the steering wheels. Drivers don’t pay attention, lack awareness of their environment, use their cars like weapons, drive while in an altered state of awareness, and don’t maintain their cars’ safety systems. If the engine sputters once they head straight to the garage, but their brakes can degrade to almost nonexistent, their wheels can shake and bounce on the highway, their headlights can become so fogged up and/or covered with filth that they pass far less light than they should, the steel belts in their tires can become visible, and any number of other things, and they pretend the problem doesn’t exist. And my comments are only “scratching the surface”.
Which I already acknowledged in the post you’re replying to. Statistically, general aviation (non-commercial) deaths are roughly on par with automotive deaths on a per-hour-flown vs per-vehicle-mile-driven basis, which means they’re doing a better job at safety. Why? Because when it rains, it isn’t the case that only the most dedicated and highly trained non-commercial drivers avoid crashing. Because driving doesn’t require you to keep within a specific speed envelope so that your car doesn’t fall off the road and crash. Because if you hit a bird, you might crack your window rather than punching a hole in it and blinding the driver, or making the engine quit so that your car falls off the road and crashes.
Flying is inherently harder and more dangerous than driving. So if flying has managed to keep the properly weighted death statistics even in the same ballpark as driving, then flying is doing a better job at safety.
Hours flown and miles driven are entirely different metrics. You cannot directly relate them.
Actually I don’t see a problem with that. They may have been good drivers (or even GREAT drivers), but to no fault of their own they’re capacity to drive good could be diminished (greatly diminished). Eye-sight is probably they biggest factor. Reflexes is another, and lets not forget cognitive abilities. I’ve seen octogenarian in walkers and wearing thick glasses put the walker in the back seat and drive away (Not too well either). Years ago I got stuck behind this 75+ old man on Rt 3 doing 50 in a 65 zone. We both took the same exit. Off the highway in a 30 zone - he’s still doing 50 as he pulls far ahead of me. Less then 1 mile down the road is an active school zone and that’s where he got pulled over for doing 50 in a school zone. He may have been a GREAT driver in his youth, but due to age and the things that it does to someone - this guy should NOT be driving. So testing everyone over 70 (which I’ll be in a few years) every 5 years - I don’t have a problem with.
It’s interesting that you said this. You’re entirely right, of course, but with the exception of the altered state, by which I assume you mean drunk or on drugs, all of the problems you listed would manifest in a driving test. We’re creatures of habit. If we regularly drive stupidly or don’t maintain our cars, it’s unlikely that such behavior will completely go away just because an examiner is in the car.
Driving is one of those things that requires practice to maintain proficiency, and if you’ve spent the last 5 years practicing driving like an idiot, it’s going to be really hard for you to drive well on the test.
No you can’t, but you can get in the general ballpark – i.e., most GA planes fly somewhere between 100 and 200mph, so if you have a statistic that says X number of hours flown, you can extrapolate to a (very rough) estimate of miles flown.
I can’t agree.
To me it’s like comparing the taste of a NY sirloin to the taste of an ice cream sundae. Yeah, you eat them both, and they’re both good, but they’re both entirely different.
I have also witnessed drivers travelling well below the speed limit maintain that speed through much lower speed zones. I have no idea why. I more frequently encounter a similar odd driving behavior on a 2 lane rural road with 55mph speed limit. I am behind them so driver’s age/gender cannot be determined. They poke along at 45mph or slower until they reach a reduced speed zone of 45mph where they accelerate to 55mph or faster. I again have no idea why.
That’s your prerogative. We can disagree on that. What I’m curious about is whether your view of requiring periodic driver testing changes now that I’ve re-clarified that I don’t advocate for only testing people over a certain age.
No, but it’s a good question. I believe that once someone has been driving for a few years, his/her driving record will determine his/her competence. If you were to add a criteria that liability for an accident, perhaps even with a minimal impact (whether parking lot fender benders would count could be debatable), then we could find room for consensus.
In summary, (1) initial driver training should be more intensive and (2) once someone has a license, I believe further testing should be for those who’ve demonstrated a need for further testing. Those who prove competence by their driving record should not have to continue passing tests.
Yes, it’s a very good indicator of a safe responsible driver. The problem with tests is that some of the worst drivers on the road pass them with flying colors. They know what answers are expected and what kind of behavior is expected while demonstrating their driving ability. Tests show a driver knows the rules of the road, but do not reveal if a driver ignores the rules.
I believe there is a lot to be said about a driver’s track record.
If you teach race car driving skills to drivers who have no self control, all you do is make it possible for them to lose control of a vehicle at higher speeds than previously possible.
On the other hand, cautious sensible drivers drive in a way that race car driver driving skills will never be needed to avoid a crash.
How about adding traffic infractions in general? Red light ticket = classroom time and a re-test. The annoyance might be corrective where the financial penalty isn’t.
I thought that was something Millenials would do.
in PA (granted this was 11 years ago), we had Drivers Ed I think twice weekly in classroom. Road classes were NOT required, but my dad teaches at a different school that offers road classes, and arranged for me to take the full road course. The guy that ran it is a retired PA State Trooper and is actually allowed to administer his own test, which I think is actually a better test than the one the state administers (for instance, he taught us parallel parking and we had to demonstrate it correctly when we were out driving with him, it was not a pass/fail portion like it is in our regular test. He used proper perpendicular parking as a pass/fail component since “that’s how you’ll be parking 95% of the time”).
The classroom portion was honestly, not really very good at my school. We didn’t have a designated teacher dedicated to it, it was taught by our Physical Education (Gym) teachers when they weren’t teaching Health Classes (if I recall correctly it was Health TWR and Driver’s Ed MF).
PA state requires 65 hours of driving with an adult before you can take the test (10 hours must be night time, 5 hours must be bad weather, though this is all based on a parent’s signature, so I could see it being falsified). My dad had logged over 100 hours with me before I got around to taking the test, so I had no problem with the test at all.
That’s along the lines of what I was thinking. And penalties should rise with the severity of the offense. We have that basic system in place now, it just needs tweaking. If someone exhibits recurring moving infractions they should be required to take a refresher course and retest, regardless of their age. If they exhibit a record of no chargeable accidents or moving infractions, they should not be.