Liz Dobson: Defensive, darn right
SHOULDN’T THIS COURSE BE COMPULSORY ... ?
Our ‘Me and My Car’ subject this week is My Food Bag’s Cecilia Robinson, who obtained her driver’s licence in her homeland of Sweden.
She states that in Sweden, “you can start at age 16 to practise driving and you are allowed to apply for your licence from your 18th birthday”.
“In Sweden it’s also compulsory to have defensive driving training which I think is such a critical part of good road care and I am surprised that New Zealand doesn’t have similar legislation,” she says.
She makes a very interesting point.
It’s tougher now to get your licence in New Zealand than when most of us passed ours ... on our 15th birthday, after a few lessons from our parents in the family manual transmission car.
But it’s still pretty lax when it comes to defensive driving courses for our drivers on restricted licences. By undertaking an optional advanced driving course, you knock six months off your 18-month restricted period, depending on your age.
According to the NZTA website, the courses “are designed to help you identify and avoid or handle potential hazards that you may encounter when driving.
“They teach skills that can help reduce the likelihood of you being involved in a crash, such as eye scanning while driving, hazard identification and risk management.”
Shouldn’t this course be compulsory for all our restricted drivers?