Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Driven to distraction

One would have thought that, given the current financial crisis, that the government would have enough on its plate, but o no. It seems that these NuLabour fucktards just simply cannot leave anything alone—and this time they're coming for your driving licence.
Drivers will have to declare every 10 years whether they are medically able to get behind the wheel, according to proposals to be set out early in the new year.

For the first time, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will issue a series of minimum physical and mental requirements motorists must fulfil including eyesight performance and reaction times.

On the face of it, this isn't entirely unreasonable; an American acquaintance of mine points out that, in that country, a basic medical is required upon renewal of a driving licence. However, the fee is, apparently, about $15. What is our government proposing to charge?
Tests, costing up to £80, will be offered to drivers to check whether they are fit to drive

£80? Look, I shall invoke the spirit of the blessed Tim Worstall here, but if we, as a society, think that this measure is a good thing, then we, as a society, should pay for it, i.e. the cost should come out of general taxation. This is simply another way for a cash-strapped government to raise more cash: that is all.

Besides, who the fuck is going to do these medicals? It would surely have to be a qualified medico, no? And it isn't like we are rolling in a massive flood of doctors hanging about with nothing to do (despite the impression that the god-awful BMA might give). So, do we assume that these tests will be undertaken by the Nurse Quacktitioners of which Dr Crippen is so fond? Or will it be some unqualified nitwit in the DVLA?

Oh, but there is more fuckwittery to come...
The move is designed to weed out tens of thousands of motorists – many of them elderly – who use their cars while suffering from conditions which could make them a danger to themselves or others.

"We are trying to improve road safety and help drivers fulfil their obligations. What we have now doesn't work," said a Whitehall source.

Right. Why?
"At the moment the DVLA is sifting through a large number of medical records and simply ends up giving people their licences back.

Riiiight. So, what you are saying is that those fucking idiots at the DVLA are unable to do their jobs effectively? That, although people are declaring their illnesses, the DVLA are unable to cope with the time required to assess whether or not, from a simple declaration on a form, these people should be driving?

Then what the fuck makes you think that these bureacratic nitwits will be able to cope with everyone coming to them with a full medical test every ten years, you stupid cunt?
"The DVLA is not getting at those drivers who should be letting it know about their medical conditions. We really want people to take responsibility."

People are taking responsibility, you utter shitbag; they are declaring illnesses. But you state employee cunts are not doing your jobs properly, are you? Fucking hell, but you people are a bunch of incompetent, mendacious cuntbags, you really are.

This isn't even the standard NuLabour (and Boris) tactic of punishing the innocent for the crimes of the guilty: this is the state punishing the innocent for the failures and laxness of their own employees and systems!
Anyone who chooses not to take the tests but declares themselves able to take to the roads will be committing a criminal offence if they fail to meet the established standards.

Oh, right. So, it will be voluntary initially, will it? And then, of course, there will be a few incidents, and these tests will become "voluntary", in the NuLabour (and Melanie Reid) interpretation of the term, i.e. compulsory.

Does anyone think that this move won't be a complete and utter clusterfuck? After all, just about everything that NuLabour has touched has turned to turds.

I think that we should elect governments on, say, five manifesto pledges. And they would not be allowed to start on another pledge until they could prove that the steps that they had currently undertaken had actually benefitted people. One step at a time, you see. If these cunts brought all of government to bear on one project at a time, they might just get it right.

I wouldn't fucking bet on it though.


Mr Handcart said...

I think you'll find this is an EU 'requirement'. The NuLabour fucktards are simply trying to dress it up as an initiative or else they're too embarrassed to admit that we're no longer masters in our own home.

As far as the DVLA is concerned, how can they process all those letters from the infirm when they're so busy updating the licences of people nicked for doing 34 in a 30mph zone? There's only so many buttons a monkey can press in the course or a day.

judith said...

I think there really is a problem with elderly drivers (and I'm over 63), but this is a half-cocked way of addressing it.

Why not make it mandatory to have the practical part of the driving test taken at 60, and then once every 3 years after that? There are test centres relatively locally, the examiners can check how physical problems affect car handling, and test response times.

If I can afford to drive a car, I can afford to pay, say, £30 to take such a test.

I know of elderly drivers who are really scary, and I would NOT travel with them - one is stone-deaf, and removes her hearing aids while driving; one drinks a bottle of wine a day, plus spirits, and is on medication; one is bright as a button but merrily disregards most other road users.

Only one elderly driver that I know has voluntarily stopped driving (after losing sight in one eye), despite being given medico-legal go-ahead. He knew he was no longer safe after nearly knocking over a mother and baby crossing a road in deep shadow; he surrendered his licence, despite the problems it creates in his personal life.

Cars are both a blessing and lethal weapons in the wrong hands.

Mr Handcart said...

Retesting would be a nightmare if it were carried out in the same way that novice drivers are tested. It certainly would be far more than £30. If an ID card costs £100, you can expect a test to cost more.

This is really a heavy handed way of cutting congestion on the roads. Zanu Labour knows that oldies don't drive very far so there's very little income to be lost and all those second hand cars flooding onto the market will cut down on imports. Also, taking away people's mobility cuts down on independence and means the oldies will vote for the sheisters handing out the free bus passes.

I don't trust anything that this crooked bunch of cheating bastards say. As somebody once said: " If this government told me it was raining, I'd have to check that they weren't pissing over my shoes!"

Robert said...

...an American acquaintance of mine points out that, in that country, a basic medical is required upon renewal of a driving licence. However, the fee is, apparently, about $15.

A minor point, DK, but that should say, "in that state a basic medical is required".

Driving licenses in the US are administered at the state level, not the national level. That means fifty more-or-less different approaches to re-licensing.

I was amazed when I first moved to the UK that driving licenses were valid until the age of 70. In my home state licenses were issued for either four or five years; it was the luck of the draw which length you got when you renewed. Renewal required a (very) basic vision examination, done there at the DVLA office, a quick check of your knowledge of the highway code, and the payment of a smallish fee ($30 or so). That's all.

Still, your point remains; this does seem a rather cack-handed approach to a (potentially, anyway) real problem.

Shaun said...

When I got diagnosed with MS I went through the whole medical thing with the DVLA. Now one of the scariest aspects of my disease is the damage taken to my optic nerve and visual processing cortex; when I have a 'fluctuation' it means that my vision can be affected, up to and including, a loss of 40% of my field of vision.

What's really scary is that this can happen with no warning and, because of the way your brain works (short version: you are not seeing what you think you are seeing, you're seeing a vertically flipped VR-style montage stitched together in yer mind), I may not be aware of this happening. On one occaision I saw a car materialise out of a blind-spot in my sight which sort of put me off driving.

Anyway, I got sent for an eye-test by the DVLA. The optician performing the test, myself and associated MS professionals couldn't really see the value in it as with a relapsing-remitting, fluctuating condition, what's true at the time of the test may be false immediately after it. Anyway, some form filling and they apparently spoke to my GP and so on and I got a 4-year license.

Now why I should have to have a full medical and pay £80 for the privilege is beyond me. But it is prime ZaNuLab.

Pogo said...

@Robert: I was amazed when I first moved to the UK that driving licenses were valid until the age of 70.

I don't think it was intentional - it was, as is always the case with top-down government thinking - an attribute of the "law of unintended consequences".

In "the good old days" a licence lasted for three years and had to be renewed by visiting your local town-hall's "motor taxation department" who took your money and pasted a little hand-completed slip into a tiny, red, version of a passport (as an old fogie I still have mine somewhere). A similar system applied for vehicle excide licences. It was decided that in "the white heat of the technological revolution" all vehicle licensing should be done centrally by computer and it very quickly transpired that the specified computer system was totally incapable of handling triannual DL renewals as well as annual/6-monthly VED renewals. As VED was a much bigger earner than DLs we ended up with licences lasting to the age of 70. QED. :-)

vervet said...

and now they want to put 'speed-limiters' on cars.

A voluntary measure and with an over-ride facility ... to start with.

What's the betting that morphs into compulsory and no over-ride ?


manc_ill_kid said...

"We are trying to improve road safety and help drivers fulfil their obligations. What we have now doesn't work," said a Whitehall source.

Road deaths are at the lowest they've been in the last 82 years.
So 'What we have now' clearly works fine and better than it ever has before.

What the problem could be is that the DfT have road death reduction targets that must be met regardless of cost.

Mr Handcart said...

If they're so concerned about getting road deaths down to statistically insignificant levels, why not ban private car ownership? Simple. Same goes for smoking... ban it! Job done.

These idiotarians really can't leave things alone. They're not happy unless they're bossing people about and tinkering with things.

As far as targets go, it's probably true that each member country has to reduce road deaths by a certain amount. Because the UK's road deaths are so low, we have to take draconian action to reduce deaths even by a small margin. This shows the sheer stupidity of the EU 'one size fits all' school of law making.

In the words of the great Tim Worstall (PBUH) Can we leave now?

Shug Niggurath said...


I was just about to post about that thing too.

Here's a link:
Call for speed limiters on cars
Voluntary devices would use satellite navigation to keep vehicles below the speed limit on any road in Britain


An automatic speed limiting device should be fitted to cars on a voluntary basis to prevent up to 29% of injury accidents, according to a report by a government advisory committee published today.

The device uses satellite positioning to slow down a car to within the speed limit of the local road.

The Commission for Integrated Transport and Motorists' Forum said the system would also reduce carbon emissions. It would use detailed digital maps containing the speed limit for every British road... More

Yep, just in case you might think that this is just another der staat diktat from the freakfest that is now running our country, remember it'll be good for the environment too stupid, so you can have no more arguments against it.

Forget that there should be manual override for overtaking, because I don't doubt they'll then monitor how much you use that and automatically issue a fine.

Michael said...

I don't have a problem with the tests. At the moment, you must tell the government if you believe you are unfit to drive, and you commit an offence if you are unfit to drive, but have not informed the state. If the criteria are laid out clearly, people will know if they are safe to drive or not and can then test themselves.

While the official tests are exhorbitantly expensive, they seem to be based around tests of reaction time ( which can be done for free on the internet) and eyesight (anyone who is uncertain whether their eyesight meets the standards can easily test it by pacing out the right number of yards and turning to read a plate).

I have big worries about speed limiters though. Not least because they would presumably lead to people keeping their foot down while driving through town (the spped not going above 30). The second they reach a stretch of unrestricted road, the limiter immediately jumps to 60 and they accelerate hard, regardless of whether they intend to. If these become widespread, I predict many more accidents where the speed limit changes (particularly because some speed limit changes are in spectacularly inappropriate places, i.e just before sharp bends).

Mr Handcart said...

I thought the Motorists' Forum would be an elected cross section of the motoring public. Silly me. Instead I discover it's a Quango with a number of the great and the good stuffing their ugly snouts into the public trough. Here's the list...


Sir Trevor Chinn CVO chairs the Motorists' Forum. Membership of the Forum includes leaders in their fields from a wide cross-section of the motoring world - drivers, manufacturers, motoring organisations and managers of the road network. In addition to Sir Trevor Chinn, membership comprises:

Christopher Macgowan - Vice-Chairman
Douglas Campbell OBE - Mobilise
Graham Dalton - Highways Agency
Karen Dee - Confederation of British Industry
Paul Everitt - Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
Chief Constable Mick Giannasi - Association of Chief Police Officers
Robert Gifford - Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety
David Holmes CB - RAC Foundation
Chris Hunt - UK Petroleum Industry Association Ltd
Stephen Joseph OBE - Campaign for Better Transport
David Kenworthy - Institute of Advanced Motorists
Edmund King - AA Public Affairs
John Lewis - British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association
Nick Starling - Association of British Insurers
Andrew Strong - Automobile Association
Neil Thompson - RAC
Roelant de Waard - Ford Motor Company Ltd
Lord Whitty - Consumer Focus
To be appointed - Local Government Association
Steve Gooding - Department for Transport (Adviser to the Forum)

Chalcedon said...

I suppose we all have stories re elderly dangerous drivers. However, the really important test is the eye test. Anyone with a tape measure can sort that out in the street.

I wonder if some scrotes at the DVLA will be allowed to access the patients' data base of the NHS when it finally has all the medical records online? To find out who has epilepsy, registered blind etc that shouldn't be driving.

Falco said...

Hurrah, I am awfully glad that I have held onto my original paper driving licence, (even if it is held together with sellotape and foreigners laugh when I hire a car). I'm good 'till 2049.

That said, there is an obvious solution; bring back traffic cops as the major means of policing the roads. It requires human level intelligence to spot piss poor driving, speed cameras are no substitute. This new idea is particularly idiotic.