gunner GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/9/18 10:13 p.m.

I read an article in the 1980's about graduated licenses for enthusiast drivers, and the issue seems to come up from time to time with everyone thinking it is their original idea. What I am talking about is this. Basic license-what is already in place as a state drivers license. Steps up from there-Extra courses that must be passed such as in some european countries that allow for greater limits based on skill AND also or independent of vehicle with appropriate modifications. specifically higher speed limits. Not only would this be a boon to enthusiast drivers who can safely negotiate modern roads with modern cars at higher limits, it would be a cash cow for municipalities and counties and states that could charge higher rates for licenses for those able to pass the requirements to achieve these feats. With requisite stickers to Identify such conveyances of course, so those involved are not inconvenienced with the trivialities of being pulled over for circumstances well within their limits to control. 


Example. Kimi Raikkonen driving a transit connect has a combined total license of 15 out of 20. due to the nature of the vehicle, limiting driving at speed to 75% of ability. 


Minivan mom who is also the local dentist buys a Porsche Panamera. combined total license of 12 out of 20. Not as high of a limit due to skill, or desire to take the graduated license test. 

New driver regardless of car, 1 out of 20, unless proving previous motorsports experience, plus must pay for upgraded license anyway. 

The cash cow this could be for government, instead of having to having the bad revenue seeking pulling over speeders for revenue "oops, I mean safety" concerns, plus the boon to enthusiasts that are safe drivers but obviously limit themselves to follow the outdated or installed for revenue current limits is obvious. 

This has obviously been on our minds for decades. can we make this happen?

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
8/9/18 11:06 p.m.

I don't think the last thread we had on this went very well. 

RevRico UberDork
8/10/18 4:57 a.m.

The low point license having idiots will still be rolling road blocks, and as they're already prone to random and unsignaled lane changes, would become even more dangerous.

Good idea, but without separate roadways, would most likely make things worse than they already are. 


SVreX MegaDork
8/10/18 5:46 a.m.

Good idea, but much too complex to implement. The standard for traffic, safety,  insurance rates and general driving capabilities will always be set by the lowest common denominator driver. 

I think a much easier approach would be a more robust insurance discount rewards system based on driver history. I’ve been driving for 41 years and have never had an accident or claim. Why should my insurance rates be determined off actuarial tables created by terrible drivers with awful records?  

Cooter Dork
8/10/18 6:18 a.m.

Many studies have shown that accidents aren't caused so much by the average speed on the roadway, but by the difference in speeds on the roadway.  


Now you want to give some drivers a license to drive faster than others on the same roadway, without an easy way to tell who is entitled to do so, and who isn't. 


I don't see this ending well...

yupididit GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/10/18 7:06 a.m.

I feel like it would give those "better" drivers misplaced confidence in their driving. Plus, I know guys who can work a z06 around any track pretty well but are pretty E36 M3ty public drivers. How well of a performance driver doesn't really equate to you being an overall driver on the road. Giving them higher limits on cars or travel speed on a public road doesn't really make sense. I say hold everyone to the same standard to acquire a license. People are going to get into accidents and there will always be traffic somewhere. All we can do is make cars safer until they all drive for us. 


Some european countries do have tougher test and interesting standards. The thing is, driving in Europe vs America (very diverse driving experiences) is just so different.  Drive across Germany and everything is pretty much the same. Drive north south through Cali and you'd hit extreme traffic, no traffic, county roads, big city roads, a few mountains, some canyons, desert, etc etc

SVreX MegaDork
8/10/18 7:37 a.m.

In reply to yupididit :

That’s a good point. There are some awesome performance drivers who really should be required to ride in the back seat of a taxi on public roads. 

gunner GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/10/18 7:42 a.m.

It's really about having passed the skills test to the satisfaction of the government I.e. the european tests rather than an individuals perceived ability to drive. Plus in an accident I would think the "skilled license" individual would be looked at rather more harshly because of the fact that they went through the work of obtaining such a license. 

Plus it should cost more. The government is only in the business of taking and would never do this unless it made nearly the same money as speeding tickets 

Plus it implies using common sense when driving. More so than the average driver. If the speed differential is too high then slowing down makes sense. 

There would have to be an easy way to tell which driver/car combos have the license. hi vis stickers, different colored plates. since multiple drivers may drive the same car there should be some way for an individual to activate such when they are driving. Just like anything else, if a driver is caught doing it fraudulently there should be stiff penalties. Im not saying it would be easy just that it could be done. 

This would be more about allowing people willing to go through the extra steps to drive like they already do but get hassled a lot less. Somewhat like concealed carry holders. Not to allow the roadways to turn into the wild west with bloodbaths every day. 

NorseDave Reader
8/10/18 7:48 a.m.

I don't know about the graduated license idea for many of the reasons others have pointed out, but what I do wonder about is where things may go when self-driving cars become more ubiquitous.  Once those happen, many (most) people will not need or want a license.  At that point, I'd love to see some sort of much more stringent licensing exams happen for people who still want to drive their car themselves.  I'm all for self-driving cars as long as it doesn't mean losing the opportunity to drive for yourself. 

AnthonyGS New Reader
8/10/18 8:50 a.m.

In reply to gunner :

How about licensing period being in complete violation of the Constitution and ideals of the founding fathers?  Your idea is great in a communist dictatorship but it is totally unamerican.  I’m sick of municipalities, counties and states looking to bang a cash register at every opportunity.  In DFW we already have toll roads sending revenue to private companies in Spain.  Do we really need to expand these concepts?  No thanks.

Kreb UberDork
8/10/18 8:59 a.m.

I wouldn't mind the concept for track days, but for the general public? I kind of have to side with mister conservative up there^^^.

jharry3 Reader
8/10/18 9:18 a.m.

The thing about the Autobahn unlimited speed limits is its not easy for every wanker to even have a car, it has to be in good repair, gasoline is expensive, plus you work hard for the license, plus you be really stupid you lose the license for a long time.  That ain't the US.

I do appreciate that Texas has given a nod to higher speed limits in areas of low traffic and long distances between destinations.

 Some roads are 75, 80, even 85 on one toll road.   Its not unusual for two lane country roads to have a 75 mph speed limit. 

Of course those two lane roads are in good shape and wider than, say, a two lane road in Mississippi or Louisiana.

EastCoastMojo GRM+ Memberand Mod Squad
8/10/18 11:31 a.m.

This has been discussed here many times before, and generally winds up a heated argument. I am therefore preemptively closing the thread. 

This topic is locked. No further posts are being accepted.

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