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Thread: Ongoing debate on lifting driving age to 17

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    Thumbs up Ongoing debate on lifting driving age to 17

    Ongoing debate on lifting driving age to 17
    By Derek Cheng View as one page 4:00 AM Friday Apr 16, 2010


    The Cabinet yesterday approved the rise to 16, which is part of the Government's 2010-20 Safer Journeys project.

    The project also includes encouraging 120 hours of supervised driving for a restricted licence; learner drivers now do about 50 hours.

    Young drivers could also face restrictions on how powerful their cars can be, and tougher penalties for breaching restricted licence conditions.

    Federated Farmers criticised lifting the driving age as a move that would have no effect on lowering the road toll, and vowed to fight it through the select committee process.

    But Transport Minister Steven Joyce said lifting the age, combined with other measures, would make "a real difference".

    He did not rule out pushing the age higher, as advocated by many submissions on the Safer Journeys paper.

    More here.
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    I might be being a bit stupid but why are Farmers opposed to the age rise? Seems common sense to me not to let children drive cars. Teenagers on the whole are poor at judging risks and poor at driving! I know I was!

    They're arguing that increasing the age won't reduce the number of accidents... but the insurers premiums in the UK clearly prove that argument to be wrong.

    Jof

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jof View Post
    I might be being a bit stupid but why are Farmers opposed to the age rise?
    The argument I heard a while ago was that the children of farmers are more likely to live way out in the countryside where it could be difficult for them to get about e.g. to school etc. They might also be required to drive farm vehicles from one place to another. I guess this kind of situation arises in other countries too where the minimum driving age is 18, so there must be a way that they cope with the travel aspect which could be applied to NZ.

    I would admit to having severe reservations about 15 year olds driving on the roads because I don't feel they are mature enough to deal with unexpected or dangerous situations that might suddenly arise. They are also more open to peer pressure to speed or behave in a way that isn't responsible for a road user. Some of them are dangerous enough outside of a car . Of course, there are some teenagers who are very responsible on the roads, but it wouldn't be practical to distinguish good from bad when selecting who could drive at a young age and who couldn't. I, for one, certainly would feel happier if the driving age was raised. After all, a car can kill or maim when it's in the wrong hands and you can't take a chance that they're always going to get it right . There's no 'Undo' button when you're dealing with life and death.
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    Yes I can see that rural and urban conditions could be quite different. Maybe there could be different rules for different areas or different categories of road.

    Applying countryside commonsense to cities and vice versa probably doesn't work very well.

    I think if NZ gets gradually busier, as it is most likely to do, then increased restrictions are inevitable, especially in the cities. We'll have to wait and see. Any news on the removal of the give way to right turning traffic rule?

    Jof

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