Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

IN re­sponse to the ed­i­to­rial in last week’s pa­per head­lined “Online info to be a bet­ter driver", yes, one should know the road rules be­fore one gets a driver’s li­cence.

In ad­di­tion, one should know how to drive be­fore one gets a li­cence.

The big prob­lem is not the vast ma­jor­ity of driv­ers who "for­get" the rules of the road, it is the em­pir­i­cal fact that all peo­ple in Aus­tralia - and prob­a­bly the world - are taught only to pass the post-tu­ition (you could hardly call it a "driv­ing") test.

You can still see advertising guar­an­tee­ing a driver’s li­cence af­ter en­gag­ing a par­tic­u­lar in­struc­tors. How can any driv­ing school guar­an­tee a good pass in the test?

More­over, do not get me started on the in­iq­ui­ties of parental in­struc­tion: mostly along the lines of "don't do what I do, do what I tell you”.

While we are here, there is only one ve­hi­cle sim­u­la­tor in WA. No­body in Aus­tralia makes any but you can get them read­ily in the United States.

All driv­ing stu­dents should be re­quired to pass at 95 per cent on a sim­u­la­tor be­fore go­ing on the road.

Us­ing a sim­u­la­tor can be the first step in psy­cho­log­i­cal as­sess­ment of a learner driver as well as teach­ing the road rules and fa­mil­iar­ity with the physics of mo­tor ve­hi­cles.

We as­sume all peo­ple are in­her­ently suited to con­trol­ling a fast con­veyance in an en­vi­ron­ment at least three times as com­plex as air travel.

Yet pilots at least are oc­ca­sion­ally mon­i­tored for men­tal sta­bil­ity.

But I imag­ine some would scream if we did in­tro­duce mean­ing­ful driv­ing in­struc­tion stan­dards. A six-month (24-week) course of at least three four-hour ses­sions each week would break most bank ac­counts.

Add to that the abil­ity for a driv­ing school to test and ex­am­ine its stu­dents and award li­cences to those who de­served them.

No, it won't hap­pen. We as a com­mu­nity can’t af­ford it.

GOR­DON ED­WARDS, East Vic­to­ria Park.

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