A report has recently come out of Uganda about the best ways to reduce the number of accidents in that country. The Ministry of Works and Transport has made several serious recommendations. Many different strategies were suggested, including increasing the minimum driving age to twenty-five.
While recommendations like these are made in good faith, they don’t offer a real solution. To become a safe driver, someone needs to spend enough time driving that they develop the right habits and instincts. Practice is what makes a person a better driver; and teenage drivers license holders are at a stage in their lives where they are the most prepared to learn important new skills.
The most practical age range to allow people to drive would probably be the stage when they are actually tall enough to see over the dashboard and hit the brakes. A teenager, even a younger one, can be taught to operate a vehicle if he or she is given the proper amount of training.
There are reasons that younger people are seen as less capable drivers, but people often give older drivers too much credit. Many older adults drive recklessly, and many senior adults lose their ability to drive well while they are still on the road. As long as there is a minimum age to take a permit test and get behind the wheel, there should be a limit on how long the oldest adults can drive.
If officials really wanted to reduce accidents and increase safety on the road, there are a lot of other issues they need to consider before they start targeting younger drivers. First, the roads themselves are not very safe. Many of them are too narrow, and there are not enough road signs.
Even among drivers, there are more serious concerns than people under 25 driving. Many drivers are using cars that are not in safe mechanical condition. Drivers of government vehicles and taxis are known to be much more aggressive than other drivers, and many people of all ages ignore the current traffic laws now.
It’s also not only people in vehicles that are creating dangerous conditions. Cyclists should be targeted for the ways that they behave on roads. Pedestrians also share some responsibility because they lead animals across busy roads, and ignore proper crossing locations.
It is obvious that something needs to be done about the state of the roads, and this can start with drivers of all ages. Respect for the laws that govern the road is something people of all ages need to learn. That might start with some more severe penalties, better enforced by police officers.
As far as younger drivers are concerned, the driving age should be lowered to sixteen. However anyone applying for an unrestricted drivers license should have to be on a provisional license for no less than two years. As long as they are on this provisional license, they should be held to a very high standard of behavior. For everyone, there should be a limit on total driving offences before the offender is no longer legally allowed to drive.
People should also take responsibility for their drivers. Professional drivers should be utilized whenever possible. People that are not in a good position to drive should be encouraged by their passengers to let someone else take the wheel.
If you are currently studying for your knowledge test at the DMV, please make sure to take our free practice permit test, it features sample questions on road rules and traffic signs and it is an invaluable resource for drivers who are trying to obtain a new drivers license. It will also be beneficial as a refresher test for those trying to renew a drivers license.