Yup, Ouch

MaxPower November 18th, 2008

As was posted here yesterday on speculation, the Ontario government did indeed bring forth a series of “tough new” licensing rules and laws aimed at young drivers. There are a few clarifications from the previous speculation but the basic concept is there and includes the changes being for a 3-year term (until 19 rather than 21):

The proposed changes to the province’s graduated licensing system, including zero tolerance for speeding and for drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel, and a limit of one teenage passenger.

To alleviate concerns about limiting teenage passengers to one, members of the driver’s immediate family would be exempt. Also there would be a series of escalating sanctions will be slapped on young speeders, starting with a 30-day licence suspension and growing to a total suspension for a third offence.

This is obviously a Toronto-centric measure aimed at cities.

“In rural Ontario, in Northern Ontario, a vehicle is a fact of life in terms of getting from point A to point B,” said New Democrat MPP Peter Kormos (Welland). He called the restriction on extra teenage passengers “feel-good stuff” to placate lobbyists.

Oh and I said this yesterday “This is a slippery slope… What is the logical difference between having such harsh rules for the first five three years of licensing and then all of a sudden saying “go crazy”.”

Well I’m glad one of the “won’t someone please think of the children” crowd made the logical leap in one day.

Although I am in agreement with the MADD campaign, I am unclear as to why this new legislation restricts only young drivers. Shouldn’t the issues of drivers drinking and speeding be expanded to address the entire population? I did not realize that at age 22 drinking no longer affects driving ability. If imposing zero tolerance legislation, age should not be a factor. Christine Kirwin, Toronto

However even in Ms. Kirwin’s letter she doesn’t go fully to the nth degree, because if age really shouldn’t be a factor we should just all get used to the idea that no one should ever be able to drive with more than 1 other non-family under 19 year old in the car. It’s for the children! Insanity.

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  • In a phone conversation with Dalton McGuinty, Tim Mulcahy remarked that ‘with these new laws, Ontario will have the safest roads in the world.’ But if you are between the ages of 16 and 21, they will also be among the most restrictive.

    My friend, CSR expert storyteller Billie Mintz, an innovator in new media production is currently filming an investigative documentary that scrutinizes the distribution of the responsible drinking message. He wants to hear what you think about McGuinty’s proposed new laws? Sound off here on the Toronto Chat Forums.

    The Message in a Bottle is a 12 part web video series which examines the responsibility everyone shares regarding the advertising, sales, purchase and consumption of alcohol.

    The world is changing; Ontario is becoming a safer place, but are we sacrificing freedom for safety?

  • I have friends who grew up in British Columbia and are telling me that what Ontario is implementing is merely “catching up” to BC’s regulations. In BC, young driver’s have to mark their vehicle with coloured labels to inform other drivers of their current status. Get pulled over with a certain colour, and you’re done.

    I was unaware.

    But D4V made a good point in a previous comment. A lot of high school aged teenagers, especially those living in rural areas similar to where I grew up in southern Ontario, carpool to school. Thats not going to be allowed anymore?

  • Safety and security are marketing terms designed to make you feel better as your civil liberties are taken away. Look at the Patriot Act in the US, perfect example.

    You want to make the roads safer? Make every driver take a mandatory driving test every 5 years. Caught drinking and driving….5 year ban, no question. The list could go on and on, with the point being that driving is a privileged, not a right.

    If lawmakers are serious about safety, they should be taking those drivers who are convicted of unsafe driving offenses off the road.

  • I agree with Ducati. Ultimately if you want “safer roads” you could slap any number of draconian regulations on. Mandatory driver tests, different grades of licensing so that you are only allow on roads up to 60 km, 70 km and then 100 km/hr, a different license to allow night driving, one strike and you’re out rules on any number of traffic violations etc etc.

    The fact that this is aimed at “youth” is a trojan horse to get these kinds of concepts into the system. Once there, it is a very easy logical leap to start applying them to everyone.

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