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.