I’ve always wondered if we shouldn’t have more stringent driver’s license tests. I know that the states are left up to decide the standards, and I’m good with that. I just don’t think idiots should be allowed to drive. And I’m not talking about trying to protect them from themselves, but to protect us from them.
I recently read that some town somewhere (how’s that for research?) has made it illegal for teenagers to talk on the phone while driving. Of course, just under that was the story about the Chief of Police apologizing for running into someone because he was texting! While I think the idea behind the law is a good one, I’m not convinced it should be targeted at only teens. No, I don’t want my soon-to-be-driving teen to talk or text while driving, but neither do I want the 30, 40, or 50 year old driver doing any of those things either. It almost never fails these days that when I see a car swerving on the road and I can see what the driver is doing—they’re looking down at a cell-phone trying to punch in numbers…that is unless it is the day of a home football game here for the U. of Mississippi…then the drivers are swerving for a completely different reason.
I also heard on the radio that eating French fries while driving is just as dangerous. I’ll confess to having had my share of fast-food meals in the vehicle, but almost always on the buddy-system. Meaning, my wife-buddy generally takes care of all the set-up, allowing me to focus on the road. Probably still not perfect, I admit.
I wonder, though, if it isn’t a case as so often is true that we’ve got the guidelines in place, they’re just not being enforced. Case in point: my grandfather couldn’t see worth a flip, yet when he went in to have his driver’s license renewed, they passed him. I found that crazier than the current bail-out disaster plan that’s going to run us into another depression…okay, well maybe not that crazy, but you get the point. Yeah, he was my Grandfather. Yeah, I loved him. But no, he shouldn’t have been driving. What they did was essentially throw all the responsibility back on the family, which shouldn’t have ever been necessary. Thankfully nothing happened…but it could have.
And it’s not just that, I think maybe we should give some sort of test to hopeful drivers; not just what the legal level of blood-alcohol content is or what to do at a stop sign. I think some sort of general “common sense” test should be given. If drivers don’t have common sense, then maybe they should call a friend…or a cab.