Punishment and reform - how to make drivers behave.

by Neil753   January 11, 2014  

I thought I'd start a forum post, rather than comment on an individual case of poor driving, because I'm keen to know what people think of my idea.

At the moment, drivers may get a ban, maybe even a ban for life, but courts are populated by civil servants who predominantly drive, may indeed be sympathetic to the driver, and have a limited range of penalties to apply. So here is my suggestion.

For drivers who have clearly shown "some difficulty" in understanding the consequences of their poor driving I suggest that, in addition to any initial penalties, a marker is placed on their licence such that they would need to be retested each year, for life. In other words, their licence would have to be renewed each year.

For those for whom their offence was a momentary abberation, this would be reasonably tolerable, but for those who permanently seem to have "problems", whose danger to the public only gets picked up when the next KSI occurs, this regime would have a significant impact, especially if a medical (including testing for long term drug abuse) was also mandatory.

Such a mechanism would help protect the public from those who are subsequently discovered to consistently lack the skills required to drive safely, act as a significant deterent to other drivers, but also allow the individual an opportunity to continue driving if they can regularly demonstrate their ability to drive more carefully in the future. As we all know from the evidence of repeat offending, a fine of a few hundred pounds, and a ban of a few months, is not much of a deterent for some people, but the prospect of being "monitored", for life, might work wonders.

I'm of the opinion that this one slight change could help achieve a significant reduction in KSIs, and I'd appreciate some feedback. Many thanks.

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Seems nice on paper but could be an administrative nightmare. I am sure it would raise 'Human rights' cases. How about a 1,2,5 system where they have to retest after their ban then 2 and five years later, giving them effectively a 7 year probation. I do like the drugs test, I had to have one for a job so why not to drive.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1189 posts]
11th January 2014 - 17:17

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There's no 'human right' to a driving licence. The very fact one is required, and not everyone attains one, demonstrates that.

What would be (well, is, always has been) required is a serious attitude to driving while disqualified or uninsured. It's all very well banning people from driving, or placing other obstacles, such as frequent retests, in their way, but unless the punishment for sidestepping such bans is serious they're pointless.

posted by racyrich [115 posts]
12th January 2014 - 14:43

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I think there is a valid argument for the idea that people who are found to be at fault due to what is essentially a competence issue, should have to demonstrate an improvement in competence in order to retain/regain their entitlement to drive. The biggest danger in these cases is that a degree of complacency creeps in to most people's driving, and circumstance can change a near miss in to a casualty.
Regarding the driving while banned/uninsured type of occurrence, where there is a complete disregard for the law and the safety of other road users, then clearly these types of sanction are pointless as they will invariably be disregarded (although lengthy bans should certainly be part of the punishment).

posted by numbercruncher [28 posts]
12th January 2014 - 16:01

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