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Which Bloody Idiot Suggested This?

September 20th, 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

It was on the news here this morning – insurance companies are suggesting that young drivers should take at least a years worth of driving lessons before they pass their test.

There is one simple, obvious flaw to this plan. You simply cannot afford to take one years worth of driving lessons. Full stop.

Before I passed my test, I had taken 36 hours of driving lessons (I think), and that cost me £420. That was (pretty much, bang on) 7 years ago now. I dread to think how much it would cost in today’s terms.

The young drivers that they are talking about, are usually aged between 17 to 19, and most have weekend jobs that pay them a pittance. They would have to save for months to be able to afford to do it. And don’t forget the other fees that come with learning to drive – the cost of each practical test was around £40 when I did it.

And besides, if I wanted to take 12 months worth of lessons, how many lessons a year is that? If that’s one a week, that’s 52 lessons – what if I compressed those 52 lessons by doing 2 a week? It’s the same amount of driving time, same amount of practice and experience, in half the time. And how long is a lesson? 1 hour? Fine. But what if I do two two hour lessons a week? That’s only 13 weeks, all feasible, with the same amount of practice. Equally, I could spread the number of lessons out – by doing one lesson every 2 weeks, or even one lesson a month. It’s still a year, so still valid – but the experience level goes out the window.

Far better would be to impose restrictions on young drivers. E.g. Limit the engine size of the car they are allowed to drive; reduce their top speed on Motorways down to (say) 60mph; and impose tougher penalties for dangerous driving and speeding.

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  1. Rich
    September 20th, 2006 at 19:04 | #1

    It’s very easy to suggest restrictions once you’re past the age range…

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