It's way too easy to get a license these days. They're cheap. The test is simple enough for monkey to pass, even after a case of beer. The penalties for fucking up are rather minimal (tickets for running stop signs, speeding, and wandering over lanes are relatively cheap). Even if you happen to screw up enough times to lose your insurance coverage, there are dozens of cheap insurance companies running ads on TV all day and night that will gladly cover you for a few bucks.
The net result? Nobody gives a shit if they drive like shit.
There's no value in the privilege of driving anymore. Twenty or thirty years ago, it took a lot longer to get a license because most parents back then didn't hand you a car on your 16th birthday. You had to (get this, you won't believe me...) SAVE YOUR OWN MONEY to buy one. My parents were fortunate enough to help me out, but they still made me go shop around and find the right (used) car on my own, which was an incredibly valuable lesson.
Consider this for a moment. Read it through before you roll your eyes and imagine what it "could" mean:
What if it cost $500 or $1,000 to apply for a driver's license? Not to be granted one, but just to take the test. And if you failed the test, you had to pay another $100 for each retake. I'm not done.
What if you were allowed (3) driving infractions in (5) years before having it suspended for a full year? I'm talking about things like speeding, running stop signs and red lights, driving wrecklessly, or my personal favorite: tailgating.
Remember that old lesson your grandparents taught you about the value of something earned? If you're given an expensive toy, you won't protect and maintain it as diligently as if you had to work, save and purchase it yourself? Ever get pissed off at how people treat YOUR stuff that YOU paid for, but they somehow think is THEIRS to mess with? Ever had shithead room mates? Oh yeah, you know what I'm talking about now. The asswipe that ate the food and drank the beer that you paid for and carried home.
It's the same for anything. Give someone something and they'll appreciated it, but not as intensely as when they sacrifice themselves to earn it. It's just basic human nature.
- Make license tests MUCH more expensive
- Make the license tests more difficult to pass
- Make it much easier to lose your license privileges
The problem with this, of course, is that industry is against it entirely. There have been legislative efforts in the past to raise the driving age, make the tests more difficult, and make them more expensive, but auto manufacturers and dealers cry foul that it hurts sales, and oil companies whine that it hurts gasoline sales. Then there's the advocates for the poor, who argue that higher costs favor the wealthy, but most of them ride the bus anyway, so fuck em. And regardless, it's fewer asswipes on the road and endangering the rest of us who try to get from "A" to "B" safely every day.
I have more rants coming. Just wait. I'm just warming up.