Land transport

March 12, 2009

Not content with telling us we can’t drive at intersections:

and that we can’t be trusted to pull out into traffic:

and that we shouldn’t drive Falcons:

which is probably fair enough but hardly warrants a government-mandated campaign, now we’re being told we should teach our kids to enjoy driving.

It’s not on the Tubes yet but they do have a tiny Quicktime version of the ad here.

That’s right, driving is a utilitarian function that will one day see drivers replaced by computers and you have no business enjoying it. How dare you pass on the joy of changing gear! How dare you pass on the love of driving well – because as far as I can see that’s all that the driver does in this ad.

I can understand the need to stop drunk drivers. That makes perfect sense. I can understand the need to teach drivers how to drive to the road, to the conditions, to the traffic patterns but really, is an ad campaign on TV the way to do it?

Top Gear last week talked about the driving test process in Finland. It takes three years and includes teaching learners how to drive on a motorway, how to drive at night and control a car in a skid. None of those things are part of the NZ driving test process. None of those things are considered worth bothering with, yet we send people out in cars that weigh over a tonne and can travel (these days) at over 150km/h with only the most basic of training.

I heard a former Minister of Transport say that teaching “advanced” driving skills (since when is driving at night “advanced”?) wouldn’t do any good and would potentially harm more people because drivers would become over-confident. That’s right, education is bad for you and you should stick to being ignorant. I refuse to accept that education isn’t the solution to this problem. Education is nearly always the answer to every problem!

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