Wednesday, July 26, 2006

We hate you too

I already received a response from Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation. But before we get into that . . .

Blog business: I just wanted to let all y’all know that I am not allowing anyone’s surnames (including my own) to appear on the blog and will edit surnames out of the comments if need be. I figure that none of us really want the “mature content, adult situations, and crude humour” of my blog coming up the next time we’re Googled by prospective employers or that co-worker who never really liked you.
Anyway back to my latest letter writing campaign. As predicted, I received a PFO from Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation today. It falls into the “thanks for telling me what I already know and nothing new” category. I am tempted to write back because I specifically asked this person to address the proposed new changes from AMA (and this was not done) and because this person did not include the customary “please don’t hesitate to contact me again with any other concerns.” Here it is:

Thank you for your inquiry regarding GDL licensing.
As you know, the Graduated Driver Licensing Program (GDL) came into effect in Alberta on May 20, 2003. After careful consultation with other jurisdictions about their GDL programs, the driving conditions proving most effective were selected for implementation in Alberta. GDL pertains to all new drivers, regardless of age, who apply for a Class 7 (Learner's) or Class 5 (Probationary) driver's licence. The program is meant to ensure new drivers obtain the support, skills and experience they need before progressing to the greater challenges associated with full licensing privileges. Driver inexperience is a common contributing factor to collisions among new drivers, regardless of age and that is why the Probationary period is set at a full two years. The one-year Class 7 retention period is intended to ensure ample time for a new driver to obtain the necessary driving experience needed before venturing to drive alone.
The driving time restriction is a condition of the Learner stage only. Once you successfully pass your Class 5 road test and become a Probationary Driver this restriction is lifted. All requirements for GDL are legislated under the Traffic Safety Act and the Operator Licensing and Vehicle Control Regulation. GDL and the specific requirements were put into effect to ensure the overall safety of all new drivers, and the program is intended to make Alberta roads safer. I encourage you to visit our website where the details of Alberta's Graduated Driver Licensing program are presented.
I hope this information is helpful to you.

As you can see, there's not much here. We'll see what happens.


At 2:39 PM , Blogger Cynto said...

I don't get your issue with the age thing for the GDL license. As you know I recently got my license too and I am still not comfortable to try to drive alone yet (yes I have had it almost a year), so just because I am 27 does that mean that I am automatically better than someone who is 16 - I sure don't feel that way. There are a helluva lot of 16 year olds driving to work every day and I am not. To me it would be more unjust if they had the GDL restrictions based on age. So if you are 16 - 18 and get your license you can't drive past a certain time, and if you are 19 - 29 you can't do this and if you are 30 - 45 you are restricted in another area. That would be ridiculous. A new driver is a new driver is a new driver regardless of age. It is the experience that matters, the time behind the wheel and learning as you drive. If the rule is that a new driver needs 2 years of 'experience' then so be it, 2 years it is. No offence, but we both took our sweet time getting our licenses and that isn't the government's fault or the fault of other drivers. While I am sure you won't be drinking and driving or laying down black rubber marks while you drive, your experience level is the same as a 16 year old or 19 year old or 46 year old person who just obtained their license (and many different people of different ages drink and drive and lay those beautiful rubber patches). As a person who sifts through MVA lawsuits all day I think the GDL program is great for everyone and all ages - it can hopefully help create a generation of better drivers. I think they should have put more restrictions down when they implemented the GDL program, including retesting ALL drivers every few years (because as you pointed out you know more of the actual road laws than people who have been driving for 15 years).

Rant complete.

At 2:41 PM , Blogger Cynto said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3:11 PM , Anonymous akk said...

Ouch. This is the form letter for "annoying questions about GDL's age inclusion criteria". Perhaps you can respond and ask for a contact person and/or other resource with statistics about collisions involving new adult drivers? Your point about your insurance rate is a great one. If anyone is analysing stats on the crash rates of new drivers, it's your insurance company. The fact that their rates don't appear to support an increased risk of collision among older new drivers is really interesting; however, my sense is the traffic safety folks aren't really basing this decision on hard data, they just didn't want to get into the mess of identifying an appropriate age cut-off for GDL. What would it be... 18? 25? 30, but only if you're a new mom??

Re: the posted pictures. Too adorable! Can you post similar pics with Daniel and Dustin so we can vote on who little D resembles the most?

At 3:15 PM , Blogger Momily said...

I completely disagree with you. I feel that the idea behind the GDL (the reson you have to hold it for "2" years and not 1 or 3) is that it makes the person minimum 18 and "full-fledged" driving. It would seem that idea is that 18 is adult. I think if you are already an adult, that there should not be a curfew, etc. Perhaps we can make an arguemnt that as new drivers, regardless of age, there should be 0% alcohol in your bloodstream when driving. New drivers regardless of age should not be allowed demerits. But at 32 I feel I have earned the right to be out at 9:30 pm in my own vehicle if I have license.


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