Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 41

Thread: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,751

    How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    What if we tried a tiered licensing system?

    It's self-evident that there's a wide range of driving ability - from the barely competent to the highly skilled. Yet we have a one-size-fits-all licensing policy. And worse, traffic laws based on the least common denominator.

    This is a pretty clumsy and counterproductive approach, if you stop to think about it.

    For openers, it breeds cynicism and lack of respect for the traffic code on the part of better-than-average drivers - who not only resent being ticketed for violating rules designed for the inept (such as no turn on red) but know full well that driving faster than an artificially low speed limit is by no means "unsafe" - despite the DMV and insurance company agit-prop. Rather, it's just a means for extracting money to fund this or that municipal project - albeit without resort to an open, overt tax.

    Widespread contempt for these little rules - and those who enforce them - is another side effect. Traffic control devices (signs, lights, etc.) quickly lose their informational value. When speed limits are routinely under-posted, we become habituated to ignoring them. Curves posted 45 mph are taken at 60 without the slightest drama. We learn that such signs are worthless as far as their "warning" value is concerned. It's all contrived - whereas a properly posted speed limit would actually provide useful information about the fastest safe speed for a given stretch of road.

    And: The not-so-competent have very little incentive to get better. Their marginal driving ability is reinforced and even rewarded. This tends to create more (and worse) bad drivers - in a road-bound manifestation of Gresham's Law. Instead of doing something about drivers too addled or inept to gauge the flow of cross traffic, we pass No Turn on Red laws. Rather than ticket (or send off for remedial instruction) drivers who come to a stop on freeway on-ramps, we put up traffic lights to institutionalize incompetence - treating everyone as if they were as helpless and inept as the worst drivers out there.

    While all this is going on the automakers work overtime developing ingenious (but complex and expensive) technology to, essentially, idiot-proof cars. Anti-lock brakes make skidding out harder. But we now have drivers who have no idea how to handle a skid when one does happen - as on ice, where ABS is ineffective.

    Stability and traction control systems keep the vehicle tracking straight even under inclement conditions and very high speeds. But this arguably creates a false sense of security - making the Average Joe feel like Michael Schumacher. So he drives much faster, under more tenuous conditions. When loss of control does happen (computers can only do so much) the results are often much more catastrophic due to the higher speeds involved.

    Maybe a tiered licensing system would reverse the trend, at least a little bit.

    What does a "tiered" licensing system mean? In brief, it would be a system with more than one level of driver's license. Demonstrated higher skill would qualify an applicant for a higher tier license. And with it would come certain privileges, such as the right to drive faster on certain roads (such as highways) which would have a lane reserved for high-speed traffic.

    There's no reason why a driver capable of holding an SCCA license shouldn't be able to drive at 80 or 90 mph on a modern Interstate - other than the dumbed-down leveling of our currently set up traffic laws, which assume everyone on the road is as marginally skilled as the most marginally skilled driver out there. Which is like putting the bright kid in with the Specials. He's frustrated - and the Specials get no benefit from dragging him to their level - other than perhaps indulging their envy. Which if vicious anyhow and ought not to be the basis for policy of any kind.

    To those who say a tiered system would be an administrative nightmare and impossible to enforce - one has only to look across to the pond to England, where a tiered licensing system for motorcycles has existed for years. The basic principle is identical: New/inexperienced riders must acquire proficiency (and ride smaller cc, less powerful machines) until they've shown they can handle more - at which point they may graduate to a full license and ride whatever machine they wish to ride.

    It works for the Brits; it could work for us, too.

    We could have a basic license - which entitles the bearer to operate a motor vehicle on public roads, but which prohibits him from (for example) making rights on red - or using the high-speed lanes on the Interstate.

    The "top" license would confer special privileges - including the right to make a right (or even a left) on red and to use high-speed lanes set aside for high-speed traffic. To qualify, the applicant would need to take and pass a course of high-speed/high-performance/accident avoidance driving techniques such as those currently given to law enforcement personal - or (in the private sector) by schools such as those run by Skip Barber and Bob Bondurant. The applicant would need to demonstrate proficiency not merely at driving fast - but at driving fast safely.

    But that would only be half of it. A high-skilled driver (just like a high-skilled martial artist) may use his higher skills irresponsibly. To counter that, the tiered system would contain provisions calling for immediate revocation of privileges for confirmed abuse (such as reckless driving) as well as a major review (with possible revocation) anytime the bearer is involved in an at-fault accident.

    Penalties for operating a vehicle on the restricted high-speed lanes (or exercising "top" license privileges such as making a right on red) when not properly licensed would also have to be severe enough to make anyone think twice about abusing the system. Arrest on the spot. Vehicle impounded and (upon conviction of the owner) sold at auction. End of story.

    Violations would likely be few and far between. And we'd enjoy freer-flowing roads, less henpecky and counterproductive laws - and misuse of police manpower, too. Everything would run a lot more smoothly.

    But it will never happen - for despite all the talk about America being a merit-based society, the reality is that on the roads, it's socialism - from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. No one's allowed to rise above the level of the least common denominator.

    At least, not without risking a piece of payin' paper!

    END

  2. #2
    Staff
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,126

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    It sounds good. How would you enforce who gets to do what. What is to prevent the less skilled person from doing the same things that competent motorists do?


    Just curious.


  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,751

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat
    It sounds good. How would you enforce who gets to do what. What is to prevent the less skilled person from doing the same things that competent motorists do?


    Just curious.

    Could be a different type of license plate (for external verification). But I think the big one's the simple deterrent effect of major punishment for anyone caught violating the rules.

    We already have just such a system in force with regard to insurance coverage. Anyone can drive uninsured; but it's a huge risk to do it because if you do get caught, the penalties are severe.

    I'd use the same approach with tiered licenses. If a guy got pulled over (or had an accident) and it was found he didn't have the proper endorsement, sayonara license. For a few years at least. Plus big fines, too. Maybe even confiscate the vehicle.

    I doubt many would risk it if we had such a system in place - and I think it would work quite well!

  4. #4

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    sure, but if your teenage daughter "borrows" your call while you're out, and doesnt get pulled over (after all, why would she? she can speed all day long thanks to your spotless record) how/what would stop her?

    Dont get me wrong, I think your basic premise is good, but it needs some more consideration in some areas
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,751

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    "sure, but if your teenage daughter "borrows" your call while you're out, and doesnt get pulled over (after all, why would she? she can speed all day long thanks to your spotless record) how/what would stop her?"

    Nothing - per se. But the same's true of people who drive without insurance or on suspended licenses. The key is to dangle some very heavy potential punishment over the heads of anyone who violates the rules - again, just as we do now with laws governing insurance.

    The potential for abuse is there, certainly. But I see no reason why the idea's not workable... .


  6. #6

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    I guess it's just from living in DC.... chances are, here, if you get hit - the other person doesnt have any insurance
    there isnt really any deterrent
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

  7. #7
    mrblanche
    Guest

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    What if we tried a tiered licensing system?

    END
    Already here. Ranging from learner's permits to CDL with full endorsements: HazMat, Air brake, Comibination, Doubles/Triples, Tanker, and Passenger (I'm missing Tanker and Passenger, but I may pick them up soon).

    The one we need is casual large vehicle, for people to be able to use rental trucks and RV's.

  8. #8
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,751

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    I guess it's just from living in DC.... chances are, here, if you get hit - the other person doesnt have any insurance
    there isnt really any deterrent
    I'd say that's a problem having to do with enforcement. For guys like us (meaning: with jobs and lives) the existing penalties for driving without insurance are plenty sufficient. But you're right that for the "scumbag element" (including illegal aliens) there is little deterrent. This is why I would pair my proposal with pretty severe sanctions - such as immediate, on the spot arrest, confiscation of the vehicle and its forfeiture to the state (which would then auction it off). The individual would lose all driving privileges (without exception) for at least one full year; no "to work" exceptions. And any illegals caught would be immediately deported. (The failure of either party to do anything about illegal aliens enrages me almost as much as the Chimp's demagoguery and trampling of the Constitution.)

  9. #9
    mrblanche
    Guest

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    This is why I would pair my proposal with pretty severe sanctions - such as immediate, on the spot arrest, confiscation of the vehicle and its forfeiture to the state (which would then auction it off). The individual would lose all driving privileges (without exception) for at least one full year; no "to work" exceptions. And any illegals caught would be immediately deported. (The failure of either party to do anything about illegal aliens enrages me almost as much as the Chimp's demagoguery and trampling of the Constitution.)
    I thought you were the one interested in constitutional protections and due process?

  10. #10

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    I thought you were the one interested in constitutional protections and due process?
    I have to give you this one - the constitutional protections apply to ALL, not just american citizens - even if they are here illegaly
    due process for all
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

  11. #11
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,751

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    This is why I would pair my proposal with pretty severe sanctions - such as immediate, on the spot arrest, confiscation of the vehicle and its forfeiture to the state (which would then auction it off). The individual would lose all driving privileges (without exception) for at least one full year; no "to work" exceptions. And any illegals caught would be immediately deported. (The failure of either party to do anything about illegal aliens enrages me almost as much as the Chimp's demagoguery and trampling of the Constitution.)
    I thought you were the one interested in constitutional protections and due process?
    I am; how does any of the foregoing threaten either?

    If you're caught driving without insurance (or for purposes of ourt discussion, a valid DL), then you've opened yourself up to.. due process!

  12. #12
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,751

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    I thought you were the one interested in constitutional protections and due process?
    I have to give you this one - the constitutional protections apply to ALL, not just american citizens - even if they are here illegaly
    due process for all
    Then citizenship is essentially meaningless. Illegals are here in violation of our laws, by definition. They have no right to be here - and so deporting them immediately is not only right but necessary to maintain the integrity of the country and the worth of citizenship.


  13. #13

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    not true
    if you are a citizen, then you get to vote and you are protected by our country
    if you are not a citizen, then the protections of our constitution are afforded only while you're here

    not to mention all the other services (social security - if you care about such a thing, drivers licenses, health care, etc..)

    they are in violation of our laws, but they should be treated just like anyone else who is in violation of our laws and that means due process.
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

  14. #14
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,751

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    not true
    if you are a citizen, then you get to vote and you are protected by our country
    if you are not a citizen, then the protections of our constitution are afforded only while you're here

    not to mention all the other services (social security - if you care about such a thing, drivers licenses, health care, etc..)

    they are in violation of our laws, but they should be treated just like anyone else who is in violation of our laws and that means due process.
    I hope you're not arguing that illegals are entiled to Social Security or any other government services paid for by the tax dollars of American citizens!

    The only due process illegals are entitled to, in my view, is to be duly processed back to their country of origin.

  15. #15

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    no, those were the services you DONT get as an illegal


    remember, ALL men are created equal with INALIENABLE rights

    I dont think the founding fathers could have put it more bluntly than that
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

  16. #16
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,751

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    no, those were the services you DONT get as an illegal


    remember, ALL men are created equal with INALIENABLE rights

    I dont think the founding fathers could have put it more bluntly than that
    I don't think we disagree.

    I don't deny that illegals have the right to due process, etc. But since they don't have the right to be here to begin with, the first and most important issue vis-a-vis due process is sending them back to wherever they came from. They have no more right to be in the US than a squatter has the right to enter your home and flop on the sofa, helping himself to a beer from your fridge.

    The situation we have now - de facto open borders; essentially uncontrolled illegal immigration on a mass scale - is unacceptable. And dangerous.

    I'm not against immigration or immigrants; not at all. What I am against is what amounts to an open borders policy and a massive influx of low-skilled, under-educated people who aren't assimilating and who impose enormous costs on the country, in addition to undermining both the rule of law and the legitimate expectation that US citizens have that the territorial integrity of the country be protected - particularly given all the "security" folderol we're supposed to put up with!




  17. #17
    mrblanche
    Guest

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    I am; how does any of the foregoing threaten either?

    If you're caught driving without insurance (or for purposes of ourt discussion, a valid DL), then you've opened yourself up to.. due process!
    And due process (and the constitution) prohibits summary judgments and confiscations.

  18. #18
    mrblanche
    Guest

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    Quote Originally Posted by damen

    remember, ALL men are created equal with INALIENABLE rights
    That's UNalienable rights.

    But not FULL rights. For example, no matter how legally they got here, they can't be President. And even the UN says any country has the right to expel those who enter a country without permission.

    But I think we should treat Mexican illegals the same way Mexico treats Americans. No driver's license, no property, and subject to immediate jail or expulsion.

  19. #19
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,751

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    I am; how does any of the foregoing threaten either?

    If you're caught driving without insurance (or for purposes of ourt discussion, a valid DL), then you've opened yourself up to.. due process!
    And due process (and the constitution) prohibits summary judgments and confiscations.
    Is it summary judgment to arrest an individual (and impound his vehicle) if he's found driving without a license?

  20. #20
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,751

    Re: How about more than just one type of driver's license?

    "But I think we should treat Mexican illegals the same way Mexico treats Americans. No driver's license, no property, and subject to immediate jail or expulsion."

    Exactly so.

    Many Americans - including those who favor kid glove treatment of illegal aliens - don't know what Mexico's policy toward illegal aliens is. And Americans who go to Mexico are virtually certain to be better-educated, more skilled and possessed of property/the means of self-support, etc. than the typical semi-literate/illiterate unskilled manual laborer we get in exchange....

    One thing advocates of amnesty and open borders never seem to think about is this: What happens in 20 years or so when we have a pool of 20-30 million aging illegals whose only asset was the strength of their bodies? What happens when these laborers can no longer labor at age 40 or 50, after their backs have given out? Who is going to pay for their medical care - for the remaining 20 or 30 years of their lives? Their housing and other necessities?

    We are creating a new Proletariat - in an increasingly complex, high-tech society where an undergraduate degree is fast becoming a near necessity to even think about being a member of the middle class.

    It's potentially quite dangerous for us. And quite cruel to them also.

Similar Threads

  1. Custom license plate
    By chiph in forum Motor Mouth
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-21-2011, 12:59 AM
  2. young losing driver license before old
    By bikerlbf406 in forum Fight Traffic Tickets/Driving Issues
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-19-2011, 08:55 AM
  3. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-22-2009, 06:42 AM
  4. 2nd type of E-mail
    By grouch in forum Grouch's Garage
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-21-2008, 03:54 PM
  5. License Plate Scanner
    By gail in forum Fight Traffic Tickets/Driving Issues
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: 04-02-2007, 08:45 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •