GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – New drivers should get in 3,000 km of road experience, the equivalent of 100 hours, before they take their driving test. That’s the advice of the Swiss safety council, bpa, based on a study of new drivers and accidents.
Now only about 1,000 km
The current average is about 1,000km, says bpa, which argues strongly in favour of doing the driving under the guidance of a driving school teacher – driving schools have virtually no accidents.
The rate of accidents for drivers who have taken the test in the three preceding years is 3-4 times higher, according to the study. Most are the result of inexperience: misjudging a situation or being over-confident.
Cost issue not addressed
The bpa does not, however, address the issue of the cost to a family of a young driver getting a license. With driving schools charging more than CHF100 an hour for driving lessons, which follow other obligatory safety courses for which fees are paid – the cost quickly zooms to several hundred or thousand francs. Nor has the bpa or cantonal police carried out a study, albeit difficult, on the number of young drivers who are driving on their own without a full license because of the inconvenience and high cost of being accompanied.