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Graduated Car Licensing

Keep scarily powerful cars for the good drivers
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
  [vote for,

(Warning, I'm writing in the UK, please modify any engine sizes I use to ones which at sensible in your region)

In the UK, once you pass your driving test in a tiny, low powered car you can go straight out and burn up the motorway in a huge muscle car. I feel this is a bit silly and probably contributes to the fact that most accidents are among newly qualified drivers.

To counter this I propose that each year that you possess a driving license you accrue points on your licence that allow you to drive a larger car. I propose we start out with a basic licence allowing you to drive a 1.3 litre car, each year improving on that until after 5 years you have a free choice of cars.

As a counter to this, people convicted of dangerous driving could have these points removed from their licence, forcing them back into lower powered cars. This should deal with the boy racers out there, being restricted to little shopping wagons.

dare99, Oct 30 2002

What reminded me of this idea http://www.halfbake...s_20license_20class
[dare99, Oct 04 2004]

Accident Reconstruction Network http://www.accident...s/jul01/070301a.asp
"Most of the increases in fatalities between 1997 and 1999 were among older riders (40 and over) and larger displacement (over 1000 cubic centimeters) motorcycles...Assessing fatal crashes, in 1990, the average age of a motorcyclist killed was 29.3 and the average motorcycle engine size was 769 c.c. In 1999, the average age of a motorcyclist killed was 36.5 and the average engine size was 922 c.c." [phoenix, Oct 04 2004]

Motorcycle Insurance Information and Tips http://www.insuranc...cycleinsurance.html
"Your premium will be based upon several key factors..." including engine displacement, age and experience. [phoenix, Oct 04 2004]


       This is how motorcycle endorsements are done in Washington State. Three or four classes based on engine displacement.
bristolz, Oct 30 2002

       I think the limit should be on horsepower/torque, not engine displacement, as it is very easy to take a tiny engine and make it extremely powerful. Many people do this to conserve gas (compared to cars that are powerful stock) and to keep their insurance rates down (those muscle cars have quite a stigma attached to them).
Bert6322, Oct 30 2002

       Is there a proven positive correlation between higher displacement engines and accident frequency?   

       Loophole #1: It's possible to get fairly significant horsepower from a small displacement engine. Maybe you need a horsepower to weight ratio limit? I don't want to be the one tasked with enforcing that restriction though.   

       (later: looks like Bert's Submit button has just a bit more horsepower than mine)
half, Oct 30 2002

       Alright, link it to BHP rather than engine displacement then. I don't know if there is a link in engine size and accident frequency but in the event of an accident the capacity for damage is higher.   

       Also, you don't have to have an accident to be a dangerous driver, it'll give those with the larger cars something to think on before they drink drive. (Had to trade in the Porche for a Fiat Uno!)
dare99, Oct 30 2002

       In the case of motorcycles, displacement is generally telling of performance, but not always. A V-Twin of 1000cc may not be nearly as energetic as, say, a snarky inline 4 of 700cc.
bristolz, Oct 30 2002

       Your license should have a chip, and no vehicle should operate without such a license card inserted at all times in a slot. If the license doesn't match the vehicle type, the vehicle doesn't start. And of course using someone else's license would subject you to a huge fine and the loss of your real license. Combined with an onboard navigation system, it might also be used to monitor or control where you are allowed to go, how fast, what times of day you can drive, etc.
horripilation, Oct 31 2002

       Sounds a bit "Big Brother" too me.
dare99, Oct 31 2002

       Semi-baked. The British car insurance industry already operates this scheme, except the penalties for being young and/or careless are financial. Cars are rated on, I believe, power-to-weight ratio (the best numerical assessment of a car's sh*t/shovel potential), nickability, and the record of people who own similar cars. Drivers are assessed on age, gender (yes, discrimination is rife - but against men, in this case), and where they live. Rewards (discounts) are given to drivers who avoid accidents and convictions.   

       I've always found it ironic that <generalization> most accidents are caused by the people who are most emotionally involved with their cars<generalization>.   

       I'd be interested to hear if insurance approximates to dare's idea in other countries.
egbert, Oct 31 2002

       > Sounds a bit "Big Brother" too me.   

       More like Big Daddy, but that's the point: most bad drivers are new drivers. Keep them under control until they are no longer such crap drivers. Don't let them drive at night, for example, unless they can prove a need.
horripilation, Oct 31 2002

       I am for graduated licencing, but not simply based on engine size, Take for instance an RX7: first: many are turbocharged, secondly: mazda's bollocks claim that it is only 1.3 litres is accepted by almost everyone. And besides your arguement seems based on the idea the speeding causes accidents, what 1.3 liter car can't go 75 in a 25?
davidcreede, Jul 21 2003

       And how would you verify engine size or power? take out the crank and pistons and measure them? put it on a dyno? (hope so i'll shove a coupla pairs of socks in my intake for the test. or are you just going to take factory figures like a 68 six pack 440 only makes 325 hp.
davidcreede, Jul 21 2003

       Great idea but i think the boy-racers etc restricted to shopping wagons should be taken more literally! i.e there should be a certain point where they simply arnt allowed to drive anything more than a 10 mph electric shopping wagon!
tfga, Apr 20 2004

       I don't know about you, but when I'm merging onto the freeway, sometime the only way to avoid an accident is to speed up very quickly. Thus, sometimes i need that extra displacement.   

       Also, what about SUVs? or Volvos? They weigh a lot and need the extra displacement just to move.
thejini, Apr 21 2004

       This is great in theory but may fall down in practice, after passing your driving test it is reasonably important trhat you start to drive. Given the insurance costs all i could afford to insure after passing my test was a 1.3 so the graduation thing works. However lets imagine I chose to get a job as a van driver not possible with a graduated driving license as the engines are too big. Lets say i want a diesel yet again engines too big. Lets say i want to borrow my parents car as i can't afford one my self, do they have to be resticted to a 1.3 so i can drive it?   

       final point and this appears to hold true in the UK motorbike market 125cc bikes (learner legal) hold their value and can command high prices.   

       if you want to restict new drivers use mechanmical means similar to lorries which have speed governers.   

       - if u restict car choice u may end up with new inexperienced drivers in junkers that are unsafe but have the right sized engine.
engineer1, Apr 21 2004

       I've seen dangerously slow driving - 30mph on a motorway, when everyone else is doing 70mph. Dangerous driving cannot be directly linked to hp.

If only there was some way to effortlessly vote on the driving of others, and compile the number of minus votes and who they were from.
Ling, Apr 21 2004

       // or are you just going to take factory figures like a 68 six pack 440 only makes 325 hp.//
No 440 6packs in '68. They first appeared on the A12 optioned roadrunners and superbees midway through the 1969 model year, and rated at 390hp.
But back to the topic. The difficulty of insuring certain cars does help a lot, although there are ways around it. I am 17 and got turned down by all major insurance companies saying im "Uninsurable" - because I drive a 3.8 litre automatic sedan (145kw slug). So I added my older brother as a joint owner on the registration papers and insured it in his name.
andrew1, May 09 2008


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