Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Youth and Change

This evening while perusing the Globe and Mail I saw a story about a kid getting involved in politics. The thrust of the story was that he was hoping to have the province implement a law that would require those individuals with learner's permits (or whatever they are called in Ontario) to be forced to display a 'P' sign on the back of the vehicles they are driving.

No offense to the kid in question, but this doesn't seem like a good idea to me (and I doubt that they have any data to actually suggest that it will be effective). Such a regulation change likely won't accomplish much, at least aside from providing another way for cops to hassle young drivers. Furthermore, as parents likely won't remove the sign from the car when they are driving the sign will soon loose all meaning (as occurred to similar signs in Newfoundland). Possibly the worst impact that this proposed regulatory change might have is that it might actually make conditions more dangerous for young drivers as people may do their best to avoid these drivers with such exuberance that they actually create less safe driving conditions.

There are surely better ways to making driving conditions for young drivers safer than introducing another superficial rule for them to follow.

So while I applaud this young man's civic mindedness, I also encourage him to be careful with regards to which regulatory changes he proposes as not all such changes are created equally and some may actually have effects that are opposite to those that are intended.

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