Graduated Licensing

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dr_bar
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Graduated Licensing

#1 Unread post by dr_bar »

In BC, a part of the graduated licensing system is a way to inform the public that you're a nube. In the back window or somehow mounted to the rear of your car, you put an "L" (for learner) or an "N" (for new).

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In the past, it was never required for motorcycles, but apparently that has changed...

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Just curious how people feel about being identified in this manner? Do you think this is a safe thing to do? IF so, or not, why?
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Re: Graduated Licensing

#2 Unread post by jstark47 »

I think most of the danger to any motorcyclist comes from the front, not the rear. (Didn't the Hurt report say only something like 6% of fatalities were from being rear ended?) So an L plate on the back of the bike isn't going to get drivers to cut a noob the kind of slack that counts. The plate's also too small to be visible at a distance.
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Re: Graduated Licensing

#3 Unread post by totalmotorcycle »

Interesting. What system did BC choose to go with? Age? cc / hp restriction? Time of day? etc.?

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Re: Graduated Licensing

#4 Unread post by dr_bar »

The graduated is for all types of vehicles, after you pass your drivers test, you're forced to display the N for a year. I believe you're limited to the number of passengers as well... Not sure about everything else...
Last edited by dr_bar on Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Graduated Licensing

#5 Unread post by ceemes »

Personally, I am completely and utterly in favour of all type of graduated licensing, including hours of operation, route restrictions (one of my pet peeves is getting stuck behind a newb on the Freeway in the fast lane who is too scared to do the speed limit and too stupid to get out of the way), HP restrictions, and passenger limits. I am of the opinion that it is far too easy to get any sort of license in North America, be it a Class 5 which in BC allows you to drive any vehicle up to a 5 Ton Truck without air brakes, a Class 6 bike license or even a Class 1 Tractor Trailer license. All you have to do is pass a simple written test which is not all that challenging, get a few hours behind the wheel or throttle in the case of bikes, then do a fairly simple road test and bingo, you are free to drive or ride pretty much any car or bike you can afford to get.

The N and L tags in BC really don't do much, other then to alert other drivers the person in front of you is likely to do something incredibly stupid at any moment, but given the very low caliber of your average BC driver/rider in the Lower Mainland, that applies to vast majority of our road users.

I strongly feel we should adopt the Finnish model, where you start young and have to take a complete drivers training programme before getting your license, and in the Finnish programme that includes spending a number of hours on a skid pad learning how to correct and recover from all manner of skids and traction loss events. Which is one of the reasons in the Road Rally world they have a saying, "If you want to win, hire a Finn". And I am an advocate of adopting Japan's graduated system for bikes, where you have to work your way up the CC/HP ladder in order to gain your unlimited class bike license. Failing that, we should have newbie riders limited in HP, sure they can buy that monster Hiyabusa or RR6 as their first bike, but until they get at least a year or two of saddle time in, restrict its HP to 33 HP just like in the UK.

Today's cars and bikes have more HP then they really need or that an average driver could use. Many of us old farts started off on bikes which only had under 100 HP often no more then 33HP and those bikes were considered to be pretty hot back in the day. My old Dodge Horizon when new only pumped out about 98HP, and yet because of the skills I learned from my father who was a racer plus the pursuit and VIP escort/driving courses I took as an MP, I was able to out drive and left many a car with three to four times the HP miles behind me when traveling the mountain highways to visit mom in Penticton.

Which brings me to another point or opinion. Today's cars are far too easy to drive. What with the mind blowing HP even four bangers produce, traction control, power steering, auto correct in some cases, ABS, the latest generation of automatic transmissions which are just as good and in some cases even better then manual, selectable suspensions along with the crash protection they have of crumple zones, air-bags, three point harness's, safety cages built into the body,the damn things almost drive themselves. This leads to the average driver who basically has the attention span of a hyper active three year to quickly becoming bored and easily distracted by their GPS display, stereo, and cell phones. Couple this with the sense of invulnerability that all the on board safety systems, and you have a recipe for a disaster waiting to happen. One other issue with today's cars is that they have become utterly isolating, what with multi-zone climate control and sound control technology. Once you are in a many of our modern vehicles, you are almost in world of your own. Noises from the outside, including sirens and horns are damn near impossible to hear once you are buttoned up. This lead to the false impression that you are alone on the road and you quickly forget about other road users.

Basically it comes down to this, never have we had so many high end, high performance cars on the road being driven by low end, low performance drivers. And sadly the same can be said about our biking community. Too many high performance bikes of every category been ridden by noobs who should not be on them.

My solution: a draconian graduated licensing programme and turning back the clock a bit on vehicle design, make them a tad bit more challenging to drive or at least not a mind numbing boring. Back in the day when I learned to drive, it was on an old boat of a Chevy and you had to drive it, otherwise it would bugger off and do its own thing. You had to give it your complete and utter attention.

Rant over.
Always ask why.

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Re: Graduated Licensing

#6 Unread post by dr_bar »

I'm pretty much in total agreement ceemes, I also think every driver should spend a day on the back of a bike and another in the jump seat of a tractor trailer. Getting a feel for what we do and see everyday might, just might help these idiots drive a little better, but then again...
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Re: Graduated Licensing

#7 Unread post by VermilionX »

no no no no no no... this will hold back elites like me.
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Re: Graduated Licensing

#8 Unread post by blues2cruise »

ceemes...tell us how you really feel. :laughing:
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Re: Graduated Licensing

#9 Unread post by ceemes »

Blues,

Bad driver are a sore point for me, partly because of the noob who ran a red light back in '93 and t-boned me off my bike and partly because I see it far too often every day during my commutes to work and back.

Case in point, walking back from lunch a couple of days back, I watch a complete and utter twwat in a full bore Hummer try to park on the side of the road. There were two spots open and instead of parallel parking like a normal human, he pulls in nose first, mount the sidewalk and damn near clips a parking meter and taps into the rear of the car parked in front of him, he then reverses, mounts the sidewalk yet again and almost slams into the car behind him. As I walked passed and shook my head at him, the stupid ignorant prat did all this with a cell phone glued to his left ear. He got out of the Hummer and started to give me grief, I laid into him. Sod was younger then me and got personal, asking me if I wanted to go, even though he still was carrying on his cell conversation. A colleague of mine arrived and pulled me away, I was gonna drop the f**ker and put my riding boot to his nads.

Apart from being "pee" poor drivers with no skills on average, what really gets to me is the inflated sense of self-worth, self-importance and entitlement the majority of drivers seem to have. It seems to me that they all seem to believe that they are more special and more important and more deserving then anyone else and that the traffic laws don't apply to them. The other day I was driving home from work, took the cage in coz I didn't get much sleep and didn't feel safe riding, and as I was inching my down Highway One towards the bridge, I spot yet another sod with a cell phone glued to his ear flying down the HOV lane in a sports car with the rag top down and he was all by himself. Must of spotted at least a dozen other single drivers in the HOV lane that day. Sods the lot of them.

Then there was another right winner, only this time he blocked a lane of traffic on Canada Way at the intersection of Willingdon. He pulled into the left hand bay behind a 3 Ton Truck and decided he did not want to wait his turn, which most likely would of been three light cycles given the back up. So he pulls out, drives down outside lane till he is about five car lengths from the intersection, stop and bullies his way into the que. What an a$$hat.

A lot of this behavior comes about because we wrongly believe a number of things, 1) driving is a right and 2) we are better then anyone else. Well, driving is not a right, but a privilege and none of us is any better or more deserving then the next road user. A lot of this could be dealt with if we made it harder to get a drivers license by instituting both a graduated system and mandatory drivers training on the Finnish model. Also, penalties for violations need to upped and rigorously applied. After three major safety infractions within a set time period, your license is yanked for a year. Get caught driving while suspend, an automatic six month jail sentence and an additional 18 month license suspension. Get caught a second time driving while suspended, then a year in jail and a lifetime ban.

Sound draconian I know, but as the local radio add on latest traffic law enforcement campaign puts it, if you wont police yourself, then we (the cops and society) will police you instead.
Always ask why.

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Re: Graduated Licensing

#10 Unread post by pchast »

In many ways I agree, but I wish we could find a halfway position.
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