With suspension or even revocation of driving privileges on the table for repeat offenders. Consider this: my dad is 76 and has never been in an at fault accent because he’s a defensive driver. Yet I once met this girl in college who had totaled 6 cars. Why is she even allowed to be on the road at this point? The girl even told me that story like it was cute and funny because she knew I was into cars. Are you kidding me!?
The distracted/careless driver problem we have in the USA is not just due to lack of skill or poor instruction. Those are both exacerbating the issue, but the lack of consequences for repeat offenders beyond more expensive insurance is also a major issue as far as I’m concerned. Put simply, people just don’t care about following the rules around here. That’s hard to address. You don’t even get in that much trouble for drunk driving until its happened a few times. In Sweden your first offense can be up to 6 months in prison and a year of no driving privileges.
Take the woman I saw doing her makeup at a red light yesterday, for example. She should be afraid of some kind of expensive consequence for doing that. But what can a police officer even write you a ticket for in that scenario? Cosmetology while driving? What would the state police rep say in court? That her eye shadow was too on point? I know we have cell phone laws but even those are totally useless unless a cop looks over at your dumb ass while your phone is in between your eyes and the road.
Regardless, Miss Maybelline was the first person in line and didn’t notice that the light had turned green until someone honked. Only then was her bedazzled pocket mirror tossed who knows where as she floored it away from the stop; from Mascara to full throttle in less than a second. Hopefully she didn’t rear end someone trying to pick up that mirror when it was time to do her eyebrows.
In Germany, the Autobahn works because following the rules is part of their culture. And on the highway, you stay to the right. Derestricted section or not. In the United States? The opposite is true. We often pass on the right - which is technically illegal - because there is nowhere else to go. On an otherwise empty highway, someone in the passing lane will just cruise alongside someone else in the middle lane, and now you have this block of slow traffic developing with absolutely nobody in the right lane. Not for any particular reason, (though Prius drivers seem to enjoy this more than most) its just because nobody cares about the rules.
Our distracted and careless drivers need to be punished. Consequences would scale with the severity and frequency of your offenses. I know someone who has backed into her own cars in her driveway multiple times. It’s straight as an arrow. She needs a driving lesson, not another trip to the local body shop so Amica doesn’t find out. That is just totally unacceptable. Paying an extra $100 per month because you hit someone while speeding through a parking lot for the second time this year should be the least of your worries. How is such blatant disregard for the rules any different from some idiot with a spray can defacing public property repeatedly? That will land you in prison.
I would absolutely vote for a system of at fault accident based remedial courses, license suspension, and loss of driving privileges. There needs to be some middle ground between “lol I was txtng and rear ended u, sry” and having a court date because you finally killed someone after flooring it through one too many yellow lights. Right now there is absolutely nothing beyond an insurance hike. That is not enough.