How do so many morons get driver's licences?


Dexter Sinister
#1
So I'm making the obligatory visits to relatives during the holiday season, and end up driving from Regina to Saskatoon on December 27th and from Saskatoon to Regina on December 30th. Both trips were made through heavy fog. Visibility was generally under 100 meters, which I verified by watching road signs, landmarks, and my odometer. The speed limit on that road is 110 kilometers an hour, which for some reason means most people do 120 on it, on the widely held belief that the police will allow you that. I know of no evidence to suggest that's true, and the police of course deny it. But I digress.

This is for all those hundreds of cretins who passed me on that road, driving at speeds way beyond what was safe under such conditions of reduced visibility:

Lissen up ya morons. 120 klicks is over 33 meters a second. If the visibility is 100 meters, and there's something blocking the road ahead, you'll have at most 3 seconds to stop after you've noticed it. The distance will be a little less than a standard city block. Can't be done. Other options you might have: hit the ditch at fairly high speed, or die. Those are not mutually exclusive; you could do both. And I'd be seriously pissed off if you took me and my family with you as you lose control. I don't care if you kill yourselves, and in fact most days I hope you do, but don't put other people at risk.

And somehow it seems relevant to note that in all the dozens--possibly hundreds--of times I've made that trip, I've rarely seen even a single dead deer by the side of the road. I saw a dozen this week, which is evidence enough of widespread folly among drivers.
 
Timetrvlr
#2
I may be the only other driver in Canada that shares your frustration with the idiocy that is daily practiced on our highways! Tailgating in poor driving conditions is my pet peeve!
 
zoofer
#3
Quote:

This is for all those hundreds of cretins who passed me on that road, driving at speeds way beyond what was safe under such conditions of reduced visibility:

Lissen up ya morons.........

Somehow I do not think they will get around to read your post.
They are probably down at the pub picking lice out of each others hair.
 
Andygal
#4
How do so many idiots get drivers liscenses? Easy, the testers are the previous generation of idiots that got driviers liscenses.
 
jjw1965
#5
What if you had to get an I.Q. test before you got your licence?

I wonder if that would help?
 
Nascar_James
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Timetrvlr

I may be the only other driver in Canada that shares your frustration with the idiocy that is daily practiced on our highways! Tailgating in poor driving conditions is my pet peeve!

Correct, tailgating is not very sporting. If someone is in the LEFT lane however, and holding up traffic with no one in front, then if and only if high beaming the slow moving vehicle will not force the driver to the slower lane, what other choice do you have? The driver needs to get the message that his/her driving is holding up traffic, which amounts to "wreckless driving". There are signs on many highways that slower moving vehicles should keep to the right.
 
Timetrvlr
#7
You are assuming that we all have 4 lane roads. Let me assure you that we do not! In the interior of BC all of our major highways are two-lanes with the occasional passing lane.
 
Dexter Sinister
#8
My observation, entirely anecdotal and unscientific I admit, but experience must count for something, is that most of the people out there on our streets and highways have no concept of what they're doing. Driving to them means simply controlling the vehicle and getting it to go where they want it to go, without regard for conditions outside the vehicle or the presence of other vehicles. That's why we see drivers speeding, tailgating, lane hopping, talking on cell phones, eating, putting on makeup, shaving, going too fast for conditions, and a lot of other proven dangerous and stupid behaviours. But they all think they're above average drivers.

I've been driving for 40 years. Never had a speeding ticket or parking ticket, never gone off the road, never had to take evasive action because I've always been able to anticipate and avoid such situations, and have only once made an error in judgement that resulted in minor sheet metal damage to my car. That involved a small patch of black ice and a concrete post in a parking lot. I think on that record I can legitimately claim to be an above average driver.

I would further contend that only a few percent of the drivers out there drive thoughtfully and defensively as I do. Over 90% of them are incompetent at anything beyond the basic mechanical skills of operating the vehicle.
 
Suzique39
#9
I also wonder how some folks get their driving licences. If you have watched the show 'Canadas worst Drivers', you will notice they all had drivers licences to start with. What idiot let them pass a drivers test? Those testers who allowed the worst drivers to pass the test need to be fired!
 
FiveParadox
#10
One must keep in mind that, for the most part, citizens do not need to be re-evaluated for each subsequent renewal of their licenses. If one gets out of the habit of driving with all proper precautions being exercised, or if one's ability to drive simply begins to degrade, it could take years or decades for the authorities to find just cause to deny a driver's license to such a person.
 
the caracal kid
#11
hey dex,

it is a natural tendency to inaccurately evaluate one's one abilities (at everything) so yes, in any poll of abilities you will see the average is "above average".

let me ask you something though: is your lack of tickets due to never speeding or due to never getting caught speeding? Luck plays a major role in people's lives. This includes accidents. Not every misjudgement is critical. Is the speeder that knows how to avoid speeding tickets a better driver, equal driver, or worse driver than the person who drives the limit and never gets tickets (given both have the same accident rates)?

The issue with people's driving abilities comes down to both the "minimum" required to be licenced, the lack of retesting, and "people" (people are very good at judgement error, attribution error, failing to remain objective, etc).

Not that i am defending dangerous driving, but merely clarifying what dangerous driving is! (and that is dependent on the driver and the vehicle). I will agree with those complaining about tailgating. I really get tense when i get caught in a Coquihalla special (BCers will know what i mean := next to zero visibility, snow in left lane, tracks in right lane, .... and yet somebody will ride your backend expecting you to be doing at least 150.)
 
LindzyRae
#12
Quote:

Lissen up ya morons. 120 klicks is over 33 meters a second. If the visibility is 100 meters, and there's something blocking the road ahead, you'll have at most 3 seconds to stop after you've noticed it. The distance will be a little less than a standard city block. Can't be done. Other options you might have: hit the ditch at fairly high speed, or die. Those are not mutually exclusive; you could do both. And I'd be seriously pissed off if you took me and my family with you as you lose control. I don't care if you kill yourselves, and in fact most days I hope you do, but don't put other people at risk.

The same could be said for the opposite, those slow drivers can be just as dangerous. When I was home during winter break in the middle of rush hour going down the expressway was an older mad going 50km where everyone around him was going at least 80km! I nearly was hit twice while people were trying to pass.
 
Nascar_James
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by FiveParadox

One must keep in mind that, for the most part, citizens do not need to be re-evaluated for each subsequent renewal of their licenses. If one gets out of the habit of driving with all proper precautions being exercised, or if one's ability to drive simply begins to degrade, it could take years or decades for the authorities to find just cause to deny a driver's license to such a person.

In the state of Arizona, your initial driver's license is valid till you are 65 years of age.
 
JomZ
#14
I dont know about anyone but the downtown core of Toronto is one of the scariest places in Canada for me too drive in.

It seems the unwritten rule is that yellow means speed up and red means you have 3 seconds to get through this intersection.

I really notice this when I went down to the east coast a few weeks ago, it was such a relaxing drive through NB and PEI. I came back and it was like HOLY $#&@
 
Dexter Sinister
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by the caracal kid

... is your lack of tickets due to never speeding or due to never getting caught speeding?

Both, but mostly the former. Nobody who speeds routinely will be without speeding tickets. I rarely go over the speed limit, and about the only time I do is when I'm passing someone on a highway. I'll get up to 130 briefly sometimes, but that's just to get by as quickly as I can. Seems to me that minimizing the time I spend in the lane facing oncoming traffic is a good idea. But if I'm on a road where the limit's posted at 100, I'm not going to be cruising along at 110 or 120 the way a lot of people do. I'll be at the speed limit, within the limits of accuracy of my speedometer and the cruise control, or under it if conditions warrant.
 
Dexter Sinister
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by JomZ

...the downtown core of Toronto is one of the scariest places in Canada for me to drive in.

Ottawa's worse, in my experience. And I wouldn't even try to drive in Quebec City. Those people are crazy on the road.
 
JomZ
#17
Yeah I wonder what are the Top three worst cities too drive in are. Quebec and Ottawa are pretty bad, I usually park when I go there and walk most of the time.

Toronto is getting progressively worse I would say
 
the caracal kid
#18
JomZ,
i didn't find toronto all that bad once you learned that "posted limit + 20" is the expected on the major-major roadways.
try montreal or winnipeg to get your blood flowing, or calgary to put you to sleep

dex,
wow! that is very abiding of you. I wonder how many people drive in the same manner. Buses in van may honk at you if you are going the limit, and nobody likes a poke on the highways. You would be in for a shock if you drove the BC autobaun. Lets just say that those posted limits are guidelines :wink-wink:
 
Toro
#19
I got my drivers licence by taking a test.
 
Jay
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by the caracal kid

JomZ,
i didn't find toronto all that bad once you learned that "posted limit + 20" is the expected on the major-major roadways.



It is true. On the 400 series highways the speed limit is a suggestion. When we drive to northern Ontario we average about 130K...not unusual to see 140. But in our defense these are huge highways and we wouldn't do that on a two lane road. 2 lane roads are mostly 80km speed limits, but everyone does 100.

Ontarians just don't like to be told what to do or how fast to do it!
 
MMMike
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by Jay

Quote: Originally Posted by the caracal kid

JomZ,
i didn't find toronto all that bad once you learned that "posted limit + 20" is the expected on the major-major roadways.



It is true. On the 400 series highways the speed limit is a suggestion. When we drive to northern Ontario we average about 130K...not unusual to see 140. But in our defense these are huge highways and we wouldn't do that on a two lane road. 2 lane roads are mostly 80km speed limits, but everyone does 100.

Ontarians just don't like to be told what to do or how fast to do it!

The posted speed limits on the 400 series highways are a joke. In clear, dry conditions 140 may not be too fast, depending on traffic. There should be no speed limit at all. The little old lady doing 80 or 90 is a hazard on the road if the average speed is 120 or more. Trying to enforce an artificially low speed limit simply invites disdain for the law and the police.
 
Jay
#22
When my friend and I drove through upper state New York, we immediately noticed that the posted speed limit was the limit, and they mean that sh*t down there. I was really surprised by the lack of speeders on the Interstate 90.
 
the caracal kid
#23
Jay,

that reminds me of a funny "oh ****" story.

a friend and I were on a trip in the US and happily doing double the speed limit (110 MPH) since the highway was suited to it and was pretty much barren of vehicles. I glanced in the rear view mirror, and a car was coming up quickly out on us and within a short time period he flew past us (i have no idea how fast he was going). About 3-5 minutes later we went under an overpass and saw a state patrol car driving across the median and thought "oh ****" so i slowed down. The cop pulled onto our side of the highway and took off past us (presumably after the other speeder). We never saw the cruiser or the other car again!

P.S. i really liked your 400 when i was out there. Nice place to really let a car reach its limits, if you know what i mean :wink-wink:
 
Andygal
#24
My dad has a bad habit of speeding when in a rush. I keep telling him that if he gets a ticket he'll be even later then he would be if he just stuck to the limit. All that paperwork and stuff can take a while, you are better to just slow down and not get a ticket.

Although he tells me that you can usually get away with going a little over the limit unless conditions are really terrible in which case you might get nailed even if you are under the limit for dangerous driving depending on how fast you are going. I dunno how true this is, I don't have a liscense myself (can't see well enough to get one)
 
#juan
#25
There is one other possibility

The morons quite possibly drive differently for the tester than they do when left to their own devices on the road. Protective colouring? I am always amazed when I'm driving in fog as fast as my conscience will allow and some "moron" will pass me and dissappear into the distance. I have very good eyesight with my glasses and I know these people are overdriving their vision. Every year we read of people who kill themselves and others doing just that. Darwin's rules weed out a lot of them. It is a pity that they usually take innocent people along with them.
 
cdn_bc_ca
#26
I must admit that I routinely go above the speed limit. Not because I'm a reckless driver or that I'm just out there to go fast, it's just that the speed limits are posted too low.

Before you skewer me, let me explain.

I've noticed in my many years of driving that about, say, 75% of the drivers here go approx 10km over the speed limit. 10% go the speed limit or lower while 15% are 10km or above. This is from personal ovservation... not fact. I have a coworker here that swears by the law, hates tailgators and laughs at those who speed by him only to catch up to them because of a traffic light. Yet, when we go out for lunch and he's driving I regularly notice that he's doin' 65 in a 50 zone, 50 in a 30 zone... and we're getting tailgated while the traffic ahead of us is pulling away. Go figure.

I've noticed many law-abiding drivers who are *oblivious* to the traffic around them. For example, on hwy 1 going from Vancouver to the Port Mann Bridge, I can guarantee that you will run into one of these people blocking traffic. This hwy is 6 lanes wide, 2 lanes dedicated for carpool and transit. That leaves 2 lanes for general use each direction...guess where these drivers are? Yeah, in the left lane. Guess how many cars are 100 meters infront of them? None. Guess how many cars are 100 feet behind them?... nearly everyone trying to pass. Some drivers are so pissed off that they take risks trying to pass. Unfortunately, sometimes they get into an accident and you hear it's "speed related" when the underlying cause is the slow driver.

then I head down to Seattle to visit some friends. Wow, speed limits are much faster... is it because the Americans are better drivers? Hell yeah! When I approach a slower driver in the left lane, they magically pull over! WTF? Hey, I see a driver coming up behind me, I'll just pull over and let them pass. Hey! this is fun... What's this karma I'm experiencing? And hey! They got road signs for you well ahead of the exit... not like here where the road sign to tell you where you need to go is posted pretty much where you need to exit.

My point is, just because a person is driving fast doesn't make them a moron. They're probably thinking you're a moron for driving so slow and holding up traffic. All you have to do to help stop road rage is to pull over if your driving slower than the "flow of traffic". Simple! If you got a tailgator, why not pull over? You can still pull over on the shoulder if it is a single lane road. If you got a two lane road that merges into a one lane road and you got somebody beside you who is slightly infront... why are you speeding up?

As a final note, speed has nothing to do with anything except cops. I have never seen anyone who was following the flow of traffic (which might be higher than the speed limit) and get singled out for a speeding ticket. If you are going down a hwy at 100 when the speed limit was 90, is that automatically considered dangerous? If the speed limit got raised to 100, is it still dangerous now? Dangerous is when the driver is driving above their comfort level... not due to speed limits.

Holy cow! I wrote another essay.
 
Dexter Sinister
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by cdn_bc_ca

My point is, just because a person is driving fast doesn't make them a moron.

Agreed. Driving too fast for conditions, like doing 120 in a fog that limits visibility to 50 meters, makes them morons.


Quote:

As a final note, speed has nothing to do with anything except cops.

No, that's not right. Highways are designed for a certain speed, so the slopes and curves are such that you can negotiate them safely, and the signs are placed so that you have time to respond to them if you need to.

Quote:

If you are going down a hwy at 100 when the speed limit was 90, is that automatically considered dangerous? If the speed limit got raised to 100, is it still dangerous now?

No, and no. Safe speed depends on the nature of the road and the conditions; see above.

Quote:

Dangerous is when the driver is driving above their comfort level... not due to speed limits.

Don't think that's right either. People's "comfort levels" (not really sure what you mean by that) are illusory. A modern vehicle really isolates you from the world outside it. It's quiet and smooth, you're unlikely to have much sense of how fast you're actually going, until you have to suddenly stop.

And just as an aside, where I live, pulling off to the shoulder to let a faster driver go by will get you a ticket. Shoulders aren't designed to be driven on at highway speeds.
 
cdn_bc_ca
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter Sinister

Agreed. Driving too fast for conditions, like doing 120 in a fog that limits visibility to 50 meters, makes them morons.

I won't argue that one.


Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter Sinister

No, that's not right. Highways are designed for a certain speed, so the slopes and curves are such that you can negotiate them safely, and the signs are placed so that you have time to respond to them if you need to.

So I guess Americans and Europeans can "negotiate" them more safely than us Canucks because last time I checked, they had higher speed limits and probably experience worse conditions.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limit#Canada (external - login to view)

Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter Sinister

Safe speed depends on the nature of the road and the conditions;

Hey, just because you can't handle it doesn't mean the next guy can't either. And just because the speed you think is safe may not be safe for the next guy either... and he may be thinking you're the moron for passing him.



Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter Sinister

And just as an aside, where I live, pulling off to the shoulder to let a faster driver go by will get you a ticket. Shoulders aren't designed to be driven on at highway speeds.

Highways usually are two lanes or greater each way. So in that case, all you'd have to do is stay in the right lane and let the other person pass on the left. In the case of a 2 lane road (one going each way), you certainly wouldn't be driving highway speeds, so you can legally pull over while slowing down and signalling as well... and then pull back in when it is safe to do so. If you pull over without signalling or slowing down, then you're just asking for trouble.

As you can see, there are varied opinions on what a safe speed is. Some can argue that current limits are still too high based on the number of accidents on a road in a given year. So now we have to drive even slower?
 
TenPenny
#29
Out here in the woods of NB, on 4 lane highways the limit is 110; the accepted norm is 120-125.

Back in December, I came over a knoll on a 2 lane hwy, 90 zone, doing 135...and saw a police car sitting on the side of the road. I thought I was a goner for sure, but I hit the brakes anyway. Even though there was no traffic around (that's the reason I was going so fast), he didn't come after me. For which I thank him.

I must admit, every speeding ticket I've gotten, I've deserved. So my policy is not to argue or complain, I've been given a break many, many times.

I found in Maine, the accepted speed on I95 was about 75 mph....
 
the caracal kid
#30
dex,

it is important to note that the highways are usually designed for a higher speed than what they are designated. The advisory signs for corners,etc are just that, advisories.

Agreed that driving faster than conditions allow (or too close for said conditions) is risky. Some people are either less able to read conditions, or "just risk it"(not thinking).

Personally, the thing that i think is one of the most dangerous things on our multilane highways is difference in speeds. Many people do not pay attention to the differences in speed between themselves and other cars.
 

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