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View Results: At the time of renewal, the law should be changed to...
Keep the law exactly as it is! 21 53.85%
Require drivers retake the written test 4 10.26%
Require drivers retake the written test AND practical test 4 10.26%
Require drivers retake the written test, and IF THEY FAIL, retake the practical test, too 10 25.64%
Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-06-2014, 08:50 AM   #1
wiseblood OP
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Question about NY State Drivers' Licenses

As some of you know, I do some volunteer work for a motorcycle advocacy org in NY state, and some work for the Transportation committee in my local community board.

I have an idea, and I would like to get some critical feedback. I'd like to know if this idea is good, outside my own cluttered brain.

Here's the idea: Every 8 years, NY drivers have to renew their license. My idea is that, at the time of renewal, they should have to retake the written test, and maybe the practical (driving) test, too.

Please take the poll pole!
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiseblood View Post
As some of you know, I do some volunteer work for a motorcycle advocacy org in NY state, and some work for the Transportation committee in my local community board.

I have an idea, and I would like to get some critical feedback. I'd like to know if this idea is good, outside my own cluttered brain.

Here's the idea: Every 8 years, NY drivers have to renew their license. My idea is that, at the time of renewal, they should have to retake the written test, and maybe the practical (driving) test, too.

Please take the poll pole!
The written test is a joke. It was made easier some years ago as it was deemed to tough for some groups, or so I've been told. Trsih took the MC permit test last year. she went to get a study book and the clerk just laughed at her and handed her the test, telling her that it was so easy that nobody failed and if she did there was no fee to do the retest. Never having looked at a book or having any experience riding a bike she passed it with ease. I think they should make the driving test longer both time and distance wise. Let them drive in teh real world and see how they do...hang out in the left lane. FAIL. dont know how to merge onto a highway FAIL drive along side another vehicle for miles so that no one can pass FAIL
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:02 AM   #3
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The written test is a joke. It was made easier some years ago as it was deemed to tough for some groups, or so I've been told. Trsih took the MC permit test last year. she went to get a study book and the clerk just laughed at her and handed her the test, telling her that it was so easy that nobody failed and if she did there was no fee to do the retest. Never having looked at a book or having any experience riding a bike she passed it with ease. I think they should make the driving test longer both time and distance wise. Let them drive in teh real world and see how they do...hang out in the left lane. FAIL. dont know how to merge onto a highway FAIL drive along side another vehicle for miles so that no one can pass FAIL

It seems, to me, that car drivers have become even more dangerous lately. Probably, I'm just getting more paranoid.

I hear what you're saying about the test being easy. My FIRST idea was to require the written AND practical, but two things: There is a significant COST to the practical exam, and I think a lot of people would be opposed to this because it is a lot of inconvenience.

That being said... IF a person cannot pass the EASY written test, can we safely assume that MAYBE they shouldn't be driving?
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:10 AM   #4
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just got around to renewing registration on the bike yesterday. went to a place called license x-press, 300 w 34th street ny, ny 10001

they have a self service machine up in front if you are paying by credit card. i would have been out of there even quicker had the lady in front of me not had comprehension issues with the screen.

they also do license renewal there.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:14 AM   #5
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I like the idea of being forced to taken the driving test in theory, but it would be like confessional in reality...you drive like an asshate for 8 years, but for 10 minutes hold your hands at 10 and 2 and don't exceed the speed limit, make complete stops and use a turn signal. Then you're absolved for another 8 years.

Also, once you are an adult you have to drive yourself to the test. If you hit the curb parallel parking should you really lose your license or have it be suspended? How would you get home, or to work? Can you do this on a weekend or do you have to take off work? What if you have two jobs or are a single parent? Not saying absolutely no driving test, but there are plenty of logistics to work out...this isn't your daddy driving you when you are 17 and if you fail then you can use your bicycle for another month.

In reality, I think people know how to drive respectfully, they just don't care to. I voted to make people take the written but make it harder. Still not sure how the logistics would play out if you fail.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rthuey View Post
just got around to renewing registration on the bike yesterday. went to a place called license x-press, 300 w 34th street ny, ny 10001

they have a self service machine up in front if you are paying by credit card. i would have been out of there even quicker had the lady in front of me not had comprehension issues with the screen.

they also do license renewal there.

And, consider this: Comprehension-challenged lady ALSO renewed her license. You think maybe she is comprehension-challenged about anything else? Rules regarding right-of-way, perhaps?
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:20 AM   #7
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IMO, things won't change until the requirements to get the license in the first place change. Those requirements should include a course similar to the MSF BRC (or, more accurately, something like the Skip Barber Performance Driving School or even the Tire Rack Teen Driver Program), with classroom time reviewing real-world driving situations (and not just signage and risks of DUI) as well as basic on-course exercises (panic stops, slalom, emergency avoidance). These skills should be tested as part of the practical test. A refresher course every 20 years or so would be about the most you could reasonably ask for.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:27 AM   #8
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I like the idea of being forced to taken the driving test in theory, but it would be like confessional in reality...you drive like an asshate for 8 years, but for 10 minutes hold your hands at 10 and 2 and don't exceed the speed limit, make complete stops and use a turn signal. Then you're absolved for another 8 years.

Also, once you are an adult you have to drive yourself to the test. If you hit the curb parallel parking should you really lose your license or have it be suspended? How would you get home, or to work? Can you do this on a weekend or do you have to take off work? What if you have two jobs or are a single parent? Not saying absolutely no driving test, but there are plenty of logistics to work out...this isn't your daddy driving you when you are 17 and if you fail then you can use your bicycle for another month.

In reality, I think people know how to drive respectfully, they just don't care to. I voted to make people take the written but make it harder. Still not sure how the logistics would play out if you fail.

For sure, the devil is in the details. I would give renewing drivers every opportunity to get a second chance. And, even a third. But, if you can't remember how to parallel park after multiple attempts IN YOUR OWN CAR, should you really be driving?



Yeah, I've had my bike knocked over a few times, so my patience for this is... uhh.... limited.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:31 AM   #9
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Recurring tests won't help much.
What is really needed is actual driving education. The fact that being an adult you can obtain a Permit after passing the joke of a test and than anybody with a license can teach the permit holder how to drive...

Are you kidding me

In Poland I had to complete 30hrs theoretical and another 20hrs practical course to get my car endorsement. Additional 15 practical for motorcycle. All by legit, licensed Drivers Education Centers.

The major overhaul is needed in entire program. I don't think re-testing will help much if we continue having this bullshit tests
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:35 AM   #10
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IMO, things won't change until the requirements to get the license in the first place change. Those requirements should include a course similar to the MSF BRC (or, more accurately, something like the Skip Barber Performance Driving School or even the Tire Rack Teen Driver Program), with classroom time reviewing real-world driving situations (and not just signage and risks of DUI) as well as basic on-course exercises (panic stops, slalom, emergency avoidance). These skills should be tested as part of the practical test. A refresher course every 20 years or so would be about the most you could reasonably ask for.
I absolutely agree! But "Perfect is the enemy of the Good" -- it's possible the laws might be modified to (slightly) raise the bar for license renewal. It's IMPOSSIBLE to institute a European-style driving skills requirement.

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Old 05-06-2014, 09:36 AM   #11
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This will cause more work and staff needed for the DMV and costs for the state to rise, at a time when they're cutting everything they can to meet a budget...good luck with this.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:41 AM   #12
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This will cause more work and staff needed for the DMV and costs for the state to rise, at a time when they're cutting everything they can to meet a budget...good luck with this.

Do you see unqualified drivers as a non-problem? Or, is it a problem, but not one worth spending any money on?
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:43 AM   #13
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This thread will devolve quickly I fear

I can totally understand frustration in the city would be higher. But yes, if you can't parallel park without trying 4 times you shouldn't be driving.

I'm of the opinion that money is what convinces people to do things. I've seen discussions regarding automated cameras and violations in the mail, and while it certainly is a slippery slope, if people received $300 fines for running a red light or doing 55 in NYC, they might not do it soo much.

Again, people can read and know the speed limit, they know not to run red lights, or weave through traffic like a racecar, the issue is it's enforced .001% of the time.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:45 AM   #14
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Do you see unqualified drivers as a non-problem? Or, is it a problem, but not one worth spending any money on?
I see it as NOT a platform that will get politicians elected. I also see it as a NYC problem. Don't make me pay for your sins, please.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:49 AM   #15
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I see it as NOT a platform that will get politicians elected. I also see it as a NYC problem. Don't make me pay for your sins, please.
If we had home rule w/r/t traffic laws, this would be addressed locally, and quickly.

We can't even get a speed or red light camera without going to Albany.
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