In the FP discussion about the worst things you can do in winter, I chanced upon a commenter who wrote "I can't afford snow tires at the moment, though I know I need them. That doesn't mean I shouldn't have the right to drive though. [...]." He then went on to explain that a driver should know the limits of a car in any setup drive accordingly. And I really had to disagree. I didn't want to get into a FP mudfight, so I simply responded that driving is not a right but a priviledge and left it at that. But it got me thinking.

Maybe I am the elitist, middle-class Euro guy, living in a country with elaborate, and therefore expensive driver training, and mandatory winter tires if there is snow or ice on the road, who should get out of his ivory tower and see the real world as it is?


I will also take his words that he can't afford winter tires at face value, and not start questioning his budgeting skill, and whether he would have been able to afford a used set of steelies with some half-way decent winter tires if he had had other priorities, or not. Being a dyed in the wool Socialdemocrat, I am all against taking rights from the poor just because they are that, poor.

It is just that in my humble opinion, driving is not a right. I see it as a priviledge. You get this priviledge by going through driver training, and passing a test. It can be taken away again if someone prooves to be unworthy (DUIs, constant speeding with endangering others etc...). And driving on snow and ice on summer tires is not that much different from driving while being tipsy. It's just that the car behaves like a drunk, not the driver. The end result is the same.

What is your opinion on this?