Friday, November 2, 2007

Accidents Everywhere

I know it would greatly impinge upon our automobile-centric economy and probably our national psyche as well, but I think it's time that the driver's-license test (both written and in the car) in Connecticut and elsewhere be made much more difficult than it is right now. I'm serious about this. The growing wave of traffic accidents on I-95, I-91, I-84 etc. is proof that too many people don't know the rules, don't have common sense or a "head" for driving or just don't possess the skills to operate a car (or truck) at moderate-to-high speeds in increasingly heavy traffic or under adverse conditions. Our own observation tells us the same thing. People don't know how to merge or how to enter a highway from a standing stop in the breakdown lane. They don't know how to get out of the passing lane when they're not passing anyone. They're not paying attention. Sometimes they barely seem to be driving at all. Everyone knows the driver's-license testing is perfunctory at best, and that a license is laughably easy to obtain and hold onto. Imagine if the test were made difficult enough so that the bottom 20 percent of drivers did not qualify. How much better, and safer, would our roads be then? And imagine if more testing were required every 10 years before a license is renewed? It wouldn't eliminate all the problems, of course, but it would be a good start.

1 comment:

Suzanne Owens said...

The "fastest" way to eliminate a large percentage of the roadblocks and problems in and on CT roads would be to re-educate the state's drivers via public service announcements (required by the FCC and free of charge) in the media and especially on the billboards along the interstate roads - what better communication tool to reach the target audience?

Examples of the biggest "road" obstructions:

Driving in the passing lane
Not paying attention due to talking on the cell phone or with other passengers
Eating while driving
Applying make-up while driving

Some of us DO have places to go and people to see and need to get there in a safe and timely manner.