Does Winston realise older people need re-testing for driving

Winston Peters wants pensioners to teach school kids how to drive. Stupidly, John  Key has gone along with it.

Intriguingly, his proposal  to make getting a driver’s license a core subject at school has been endorsed by Mr Key.

It is a smart idea: many young people first run foul of the justice system when they are caught driving without a licence and the drivers’ licence process also does something the rest of the education system is supposed to have done – the written component, grounded as it is in the written word sharply identifies those whose basic literacy skills have not been improved.

All in all, it was a powerful message from the New Zealand First leader. And although there was the usual Peters’ drama and denigration of other parties (and of the media, of course) these are part of his whole act. The drivers’ license policy is a smart policy move – and the fact Mr Key says he can see it happening is a clear political signal National is prepared to work with Mr Peters.

Actually, it is a stupid idea.

Pensioners require constant driver re-testing after age 75. It is an acknowledged fact that older drivers have slower reflexes, poorer eyesight and a lifetime of poor driving habits. I once knew a dear old duck who went to the supermarket only turning left because she had to give way and therefore assumed she would never be in an accident.

The driver testing regime today is much more stringent than even in my time, where you rocked up filled in  a form and went for a drive with a cop. Pensioners would have no comprehension of the current driving regimen.

But hey, Winston believes in the infallibility of the pensioner, never before has an age group been showered with so much simply for daring to live beyond the averages.



  • Second time around

    It’s about as dumb as Andy Little thinking that anyone can cook Chinese and Indian. Teaching someone else to drive, to today’s standards, is very different from driving a traffic cop around the block to get a licence 40 and 50 years ago.

  • Ruahine

    We are seeing something interesting play out here. Firstly, the comments by John Key about drivers licences.
    Licences can be a challenge and a rite of passage for many of the present generation.
    But as for pensioners giving lessons. Good God!!. That is a damned stupid idea. Too much whiskey thinking Winnie.

    • XCIA

      The fool has never been sober long enough to get behind the wheel himself.

  • Hard1

    The Japanese first learn to drive in a contained environment before they can hit the road. It is expensive, at over $2,000, and results in good drivers.
    In NZ, you can be competing with big rigs or hitting the notorious Royal Oak roundabout in short order. Retesting every 5 years in NZ should be mandatory. The recent video regarding using the fast lane exclusively for passing is a classic. Kiwi drivers tootle along doing 90 in the right lane without a care in the world.

    • johnandali

      I believe that in Germany, it is compulsory to go to a driving school if you want to get a licence. The days of mom and dad teaching the kids their bad driving habits are over.

      • Workasdirected

        And if you lose your license, you don’t get it back at the end of the period – you simply earn the right to start again from the beginning.

  • Brian Dingwall

    Winnie may learn soon that many of us that are now of the age, or reaching it, are actually no nonsense, small government, pro-market, anti-crony capitalism, members of the VRWC.

    Having prepared for the deprivations of age we vote for the welfare of the whole country, not for the welfare of any special interest group, nor for our own personal gain.

    He can’t take all the oldie vote for granted, most that I know in my age group have never used his silly card… Cam says why take a bus when you can take the Isuzu (or German equivalent)?

  • rangitoto

    It isn’t that hard to get a drivers licence. From my observation of the Auckland motorway today there doesn’t appear to be a shortage of drivers.

    • johcar

      And not only is there a surfeit of drivers on Auckland Motorways, a good majority of them cannot drive to save themselves, illustrating your point that it isn’t hard to get a licence (or, conversely, drive without one)

      • XCIA

        I’d say there are more than a few who found their licences in corn flake packets. If the idiot cared to look around Albany on a Friday morning, he could see his supporters trying to park in supermarket car parks, drive through stop signs, travel at 30 in 50kph areas and generally make a nuisance of themselves on the road. God help the next generation if they are taught to drive by these people.

  • Wheninrome

    He could be referring to the you ger pensioners, those turned 65.

  • Digger

    A retest every 10 years when you renew your licence is a grand idea. It’s a great opportunity to weed out any bad habits you’ve picked up and to confirm that you understand any road rule changes. The tester could be a pensioner, as long as they pass the tests that driving instructors and testers must pass.
    The stats show that under 20’s and over 70’s are over represented in the crash stats.
    The oldies don’t stand up to the sudden deceleration too well though.

  • LovetoTeach

    Paul Henry thought this was a great idea…. which made me despair because I usually love him