Monday, 22 December 2008 2:01 PM

Crash Takes Two Young Lives

I just want to provide some figures and general thoughts about obtaining a driving license here in Europe that my well be a thinkable comparison if we wish to in-place strict orders on drivers in the Solomons, particularly in Honiara.

I recently went through 8 months intensive theory and practical driving skills including First Aid Certificate and a computer aided theoretical exam in Hamburg, conditions that must be met before any driving test is given.

The theoretical part is 6 hours weekly and while 3 hours weekly practical driving is not limited to city lanes, motorways, and residential area, practical driving also includes training on snowy roads, rainy day, and night driving on narrow country roads (sometimes under extremely bad weather).

The fees was worth it, more than ?2,500.00 (SI$25,000.00), which includes other bureaucratic formalities. The driving test took place during the hectic hours in one early morning (7:30 am). Hours which tester are looking for to test your skills and to reverse you back to your driving school when you cannot make. The license I 've obtained is of EU Class B standard.

Seriously considering having a driving license in the EU requires maturity and that you need to be well-trained. One needs to be 18 years of age to undergo a driving test. Usually, at the age of 16 or 17 you may start attending driving institutions. However, driving test can only be given when you are 18, thus the driving license if you successfully pass it.

There is no excuse if you get caught driving your parents or friend's car under 18. If you have been found twice, you will be sent to a boot-camp and undergo psycho examination. This is how strictly governments regulate unwarranted behaviors for all who wish to pursue being pilots of their own life. Driving rules may slightly differ from member states, but basically, governments do have control on their citizens by strictly imposing driving rules into sections of their respective laws when it comes to safety measures and standard behavioral conducts to all, onlookers or drivers alike.

Sadly, I have not seen such strict measures place in our country. It should have been the case that we have higher accidental rate in coconut fruits or climbing related accident than car related accident should proper institution for driving is institutionalized and cared for by law makers.

Our politicians have been talking a lot about serving the people but what are they serving actually? Are they (politicians) serving the people by encouraging import of vehicles or maintaining our only highway in Honiara for comfortable driving? While service may well be discontinuous and discrete in its pragmatic approach, serving is a continuous act by which politicians uttered their oath, while reached down to the bible promised to serve people.

The challenge for our politicians and law makers or public officials especially, those responsible for regulating traffic orders is, please do something about this and at least try imposing your mighty power in a conceivable approach and awareness so that our folks take a better care of themselves. This is what I would call servicing. Providing service is not enough because you (politicians) do so provide it only when the resources is available i.e. discrete in nature. Establishing driving institution is a service of course but, rules and regulations, measures, etc ., define longevity (duration of service) of that service. So yeah, it is time the number of accidents that will occur in Honiara in the near future be reduced or none.

After all, a driver is responsible of his or her own act if the above mentioned establishment is ignored. At least, that's how far we can go to save lives.

Tangio nao.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of James P Taisie and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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