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Old November 1st, 2008, 11:47 AM   #3161
KIWIKAAS
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Originally Posted by Timon91 View Post
For that price we get good lessons, so we are really "ready for the road" when we get our license. At least better than in the USA. However, the price is way too much. Young people can hardly afford it themselves anymore. Some of my friends who've just become 18 have their license because their parents paid for it. Some other 18 year old friends of mine don't have their license because they have to pay for it themselves and they can't afford it. I'm not sure whether I'm going to get my license once I get 18, because students get a so called "OV-jaarkaart" with which they can travel with the public transport for free (you can choose whether you want it on weekdays or in weekends). That is also a good and safe way to get around. But if parents pay, I'm fine with it.
To be honest I don't see much improvment in road behaviour from young drivers in NL compared to countries where a license is easier obtained. It seems to be the general rule of thumb that when you get your license you throw the rule book out the window and drive around like a maniac.
NL drivers also seem to hate using inticators for some reason.
But the road toll speaks for it's self and so I suppose you can conclude that the general standard of driving is better than most countries (although I believe newly licensed drivers are just as bad in NL as elsewhere).
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Old November 1st, 2008, 12:08 PM   #3162
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Have you ever driven on in former Eastern Europe? Dutch drive way better than Slovaks, for instance. There are way less maniacs over here.
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Old November 1st, 2008, 12:10 PM   #3163
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Oh yes. But they're all nutty as fruit cakes over there
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Old November 1st, 2008, 12:46 PM   #3164
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One driving lesson of one hour generally costs you between € 35 and € 40 in the Netherlands. You usually need about 25 - 30 of them to get your drivers license fast, but a lot of people need 40+ lessons. So it adds up quite fast that way. (30*40 = € 1.200 for lessons alone).
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Old November 1st, 2008, 08:19 PM   #3165
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Everyone is saying their country has better training than the USA. I don't understand what that means since all 50 states are totally different on the training required, the age at which you can drive, the driving laws, the amount of liquor you can have in your system and still drive, the condition of their roads, the speed limits, and the costs associated.

It would be like talking about all of Europe's drivers as one collective group.



The states themselves are individually in control of healthcare and hospitals for their residents, policing, emergency repsponses, unemployment benifits, setting sales taxes and state income taxes, fire responses, natural resources and protecting their lands, their laws and justice, whether they want the death penalty, gay marriage, alcohol controls, the age at which you can drive, the legality of prostitution, if they want to outlaw fireworks or not, speed limits, corporate taxes and business laws, the control of colleges and universities, their electrical grids, primary education in their state, welfare benifits, prisons, etc etc etc.

The 50 states together oversee the constitution, and confirm that in order to be a part of our union, they must adhear to the 40-45 or whatever amendments or "rules" of the constitution. These are the overall laws and rights that are mandatory for everyone in each state in order to be a part of the United States.

Outside those laws in the constitution, the Federal Government has no control over the individual states. Any and every decision for the lives of the people are up to the state unless the states have given that responsibility to the federal government.

Of course the government has found ways to streamline many areas. For instance the states can pick the legal age to drink, but a few decades ago the federal government said they weren't going to give any states federal funds for roads unless they had a 21 year old limit on drinking. Louisiana was the last hold-out, but the states are still technically able to make that decision. There are a lot of areas like this where forigners might think that the US government is in charge of many things that are technically up to the states. Most all states have fairly similar laws since we're all in the same boat and it just "makes sense" in most cases.

Last edited by Chicagoago; November 1st, 2008 at 08:29 PM.
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Old November 1st, 2008, 10:07 PM   #3166
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Regardless of state, driver's ed in the country sucks compared to those in Europe countries(with some exceptions I think) For example you hardly see any left lane hoggers over there while over here they are everywhere
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Old November 1st, 2008, 10:38 PM   #3167
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I concur. For instance, in order to get a Russian licence, I had to enrol in a driving school (it's mandatory) and then pass the internal driving exam first. If I had not passed it, they would not have let me take the official driving test with highway patrol officer. The official driving exam lasted almost one hour on busy streets and included pretty much every manoeuvre and traffic rule I had to know in order to drive on my own. For instance if the officer asks you to park there, you have to be sure that it is allowed to park there; otherwise, you have to politely inform him that it is against the law.

Does any state in the Union have this strict regulations when it comes to getting the driving licence? As far as I know, there isn't such a state.
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Old November 1st, 2008, 10:46 PM   #3168
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You said something about Oregon.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 02:35 AM   #3169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon91 View Post
You said something about Oregon.
I said that Oregon drivers were much more disciplined than California ones. However, when it comes to getting a license, Oregon does not differ much from other states.

It seems that in the USA people are not expected to have good driving skills, so the government makes the fool-proof rules such as putting STOP at every intersection, setting lower speed limits on motorways and convincing people that speed is the most evil of all How can we explain why in exactly same situations, most European countries use YIELD while in North America they use STOP? Clearly, YIELD is better in terms of smoother traffic flow, less CO2 emissions, and longer brakes and engine life. The only advantage of STOP is that it is idiot-proof SAFE.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 07:38 AM   #3170
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Regardless of state, driver's ed in the country sucks compared to those in Europe countries(with some exceptions I think) For example you hardly see any left lane hoggers over there while over here they are everywhere
I grew up in Iowa and everyone was quite serious about Driver's Ed. I think what you're saying just backs up my point.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 09:50 AM   #3171
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I know many American expats in Sweden and pretty much all of them have a really hard time passing the written and road tests here. I studied like crazy (for an entire month, every day) and had an easy time with the written test, but most American here fail or barely pass (a few I know failed 2-4 times...). Embarrassingly, I myself failed the driving test the first time around and had to take it again (passed then). And all this is of course having driven in the US for a long time (with most expats I know coming here in their 30s or so meaning they'd driven for quite a while). The rules here are not that different, so this goes to show just how much higher the standards are here. It really pays off -- Sweden has the 3rd safest roads in the world, with the Netherlands being discussed above being the safest country to drive in. Pretty much every American I've lived here, regardless of state, has said that they learned so much they had no idea about before when getting their licenses here.

In addition to lots of road rules, you are also tested on car mechanics, towing, environmental factors, etc. on the written test. And in addition to the road test, you have to go on a slippery road course, where you manage to handle your car on ice, snow, etc. (which is actually a bit entertaining---speeding up and breaking really hard etc :P).
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 10:09 AM   #3172
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Good summary! That explains it all. It's very good you get a slippery road course, something that I believe is not obligatory in the Netherlands. You can take courses for that at the ANWB (I've seen ads for that)

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Old November 2nd, 2008, 06:39 PM   #3173
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Quote:
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Regardless of state, driver's ed in the country sucks compared to those in Europe countries(with some exceptions I think) For example you hardly see any left lane hoggers over there while over here they are everywhere
That's not training, that's just the driving culture.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 07:19 PM   #3174
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I think there is some correlation between the training and the road culture, no?
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 09:20 PM   #3175
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I think there is some correlation between the training and the road culture, no?
Not necessarily. Tell me how you're going to convince Americans that they aren't gods on the road. No amount of training is going to weed that out of our driving culture.

The unique intertwining of roads and US culture means that many of the systems that work worldwide don't apply as well. Urban and suburban Americans are used to constantly driving on freeways that have more than 2 lanes a side. It would be weird to think that the rules are different in the rural areas.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 10:01 PM   #3176
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Tell me how you're going to convince Americans that they aren't gods on the road.
How? By enforcing the road rules. And I am not talking about the speed enforcement only (that's been overdone here). Police should start pulling people over for driving in the left lanes unnecessarily, for not indicating their turns, for not yielding to the main traffic, for following too closely, etc. Old habits die hard, but when someone is fined several times for the same offence within a short period of time, they tend to become more disciplined.

A good example would be the city of Pullman, WA. I doubt anyone here thinks that he/she is a god on the road. Washington cops change me too, after stopping me 3 times in a 6-month period for speeding. And you know what? I don't speed anymore. When I was living in California, I would never think that someone would force me to follow speed limits 100%.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 10:05 PM   #3177
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Tyrone, GA, gets almost its entire budget by fining drivers for speeding
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 11:27 PM   #3178
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What I see happening in Washington sometime is a cop who hides in the freeway median (like under an overpass or something). Drivers drive by seeing the cop at last second and brake really hard, so the people behind them brake even harder to slow down, and the people behind them brake even harder, and so on. Pretty soon the flow of traffic goes down like 20 mph because of the stupid cop.

American cops do nothing more than impede traffic flow.
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 12:39 AM   #3179
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American cops do nothing more than impede traffic flow.
Very accurate description for Washington cops, indeed. Especially, if you compare how California cops and Washington cops make traffic stops. In California, after they pull someone over, they tell the driver over the PA to pull into the parking lot or a quiet side street in order not to impede the traffic flow. In Washington, on the other hand, they stop drivers in the middle of the lane just metres away from the entrance to the parking lot and do their business for 5-10 minutes making all traffic to occupy half of the opposite lane
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 04:32 PM   #3180
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How? By enforcing the road rules. And I am not talking about the speed enforcement only (that's been overdone here). Police should start pulling people over for driving in the left lanes unnecessarily, for not indicating their turns, for not yielding to the main traffic, for following too closely, etc. Old habits die hard, but when someone is fined several times for the same offence within a short period of time, they tend to become more disciplined.

A good example would be the city of Pullman, WA. I doubt anyone here thinks that he/she is a god on the road. Washington cops change me too, after stopping me 3 times in a 6-month period for speeding. And you know what? I don't speed anymore. When I was living in California, I would never think that someone would force me to follow speed limits 100%.
And face the political wrath of millions of drivers who will pull out of their political stupor and start writing congresspeople/state legislators. It happened in the case of New Rome, OH, when they (admittedly in a revenue trap) enforced every traffic law in the book (most of which are as stringent as any European law), leading to such an outcry that the state legislature revoked the town charter and had the town next door forcibly annex the territory.

There has been mounting pressure on the Texas state legislature to do something about the overaggressive enforcement of traffic regulation in many small towns; even the Republican (generally pro-police enforcement) platform this year has a plank opposing this sort of thing.

In local settings, popular opinion still matters on this sort of thing, and since the US is a federal state with much local control, coming up with a legal solution is not going to work that well.

(RE: Pullman; that's a college town. Aggressive enforcement is tolerated because of concerns about drunk driving and drug use, not to mention non-student neighbors wanting to suppress a party culture as much as possible. Ask a professor if they worry about being pulled over; in all likelihood, they can get away with anything short of murder on the road. When I was in school, one of my professors was pulled over and blew a .25 % BAC. The cop merely escorted him home and admonished him over driving at that level of intoxication. That's opposed to a friend of mine who blew a .09% and got thrown in jail for the night and had to cough up $2500.)
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