How many airliners do you see pulled up at the boarding gate with L-plates or P-plates? Easy question, huh? How successful would a cut-price airline be; offering cheap flights operated by P-plate pilots?

Of course you never come across this situation, because pilots are trained by professional trainers and examined by professional examiners. They don't get to fly a plane full of passengers until they've proved they're really good at flying an aircraft and reacting to a series of simulated emergencies.

Contrast that situation with passenger vehicle driver training in Australia, where anyone can get a licence after instruction by a person who may have no professional training and isn't required to prove driving competence, let alone the skill to pass on correct techniques. A clear illustration of this obvious incompetence is behaviour at roundabouts, where nearly every driver thinks that giving way to the right is correct.

The NRMA's recent survey of 624 drivers found that 97 percent of them couldn't give 15 correct answers to 15 road rule questions!

Driver licence tests are a joke, as we all know, without the need for candidates to demonstrate any ability in defensive driving or in reacting to an emergency, such as skid.

Driving a vehicle on and off road is the most dangerous task most people will ever do, yet they're allowed to do it with a level of training that is totally inadequate. Driving should be taught as a school subject and examined as such in theory and practice.

A driver's licence is viewed as a right, but it should have to be earned, with a much higher level of skill and knowledge than is presently the case.

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