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On Drink

(Click for legibility...)

Given the rumbling about raising the driving age from 17 to 18, because teens are supposedly more likely to drink/drive/crash, here is a rather entertaining map courtesy of drinkingmap.com

Must say the 25 mark in India (or parts thereof) seems a little stern, and the prospect of a Belgrade bar filled with 14 year olds does not appeal.
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Blogger The Hitch said... 12:05 pm

I have read that many Ruskies like to kick the day of with a beer , children included.
The Hitch has no problem with this lifestyle choice.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:11 pm

A mate of mine used to swear by a brace of cans of Special Brew as his Saturday AM heart starter.  

Blogger Newmania said... 1:12 pm

I am not much a goodLibertaruina C and I think that raising the driving ages and further restrictions have been screaming for action for far too long while time has been wasted on trivia . These drivers are annual carnage and they need to be saved form the lethal consequences of youth alcahol women and a ton of metal.  

Blogger Newmania said... 1:12 pm

(..... and if the Freedom lot get on the worng side of this one they will look utterly stupid )  

Blogger Ed said... 2:48 pm

But is the danger due to absolute age or number of years' experience?

We can't get over the fact that not many new licence holders actually have much driving experience. It's only after a few years one really learns to drive safely. That is not to say I disagree with raising it to 18 but it is no magic bullet.

Beer should be 16, and wine, alcopops and spirits 18.  

Anonymous verity said... 4:49 pm

There are 12- and 14-year old kids in Texas who hold driver's licences because they live much too far from school to walk, and they're fine. (They're not supposed to drive anywhere but to and from school, but their mothers send them to the grocery store and the edges of the rules get blurred ...),but Americans are much more sophisticated drivers than British and Europeans. They don't take driving lessons. As with me, a friend just takes them to the supermarket parking lot and lets them drive around in their car for a while. I just had a few turns around the parking lot and looked over the rule book, then we drove to the Texas Drivers' licence place and I took a number then took my test. I failed the first time, so went back the next day and passed.

I don't know why the British and Europeans make such a big deal out of it. Americans think driving is a right. Brits think it is a "privilege" that is somehow accorded you by the state.  

Anonymous verity said... 7:10 pm

The problem with Britain and Europe is, you drive cars with gears and that is too much fussiness. In the US, you just get in the car, turn it on and step on the gas. I've never understood how people could bugger about with pressing down a pedal and doing some fancy hand maneuver all while steering the car. It looks hellish complicated. That's why it takes so long to learn. Just do away with the gears and everyone would be fine.  

Blogger flashgordonnz said... 8:39 pm

Although you can drive from age 15 in NZ, the real trouble seems to start at about 18. I guess that's when confidence levels really begin to exceed skill levels, and the "i'm bullet-proof becuase I'm young and free" kicks in. Oh, and alcohol, too, probably.  

Blogger flashgordonnz said... 8:41 pm

Of course, you are more able at 18 to get credit and buy a pocket-rocket with those odd blue lights underneath and improbable wings on the rear. But they rip you off: you get NO ground clearance for your money.  

Anonymous verity said... 9:20 pm

Flashgordonzz - Interesting about NZ. I'd agree, for boys, 18 is when invincibility and the urgent need to impress girls kicks in. Worldwide, I believe, the most dangerous drivers are males under age 25 - and probably over 17 or 18.  

Blogger CityUnslicker said... 9:24 pm

rather than raising the age, I would agree that more training is probably necessary befor eunleasing them, perhaps enforcing a provisional licence for a year would be a good half way house.

Verity - blimey my experience, which is plentifold, of US driving is horrific. people exit freeways at right angles, have no use for paraphenalia like indicators and of course, pack weapons as a matter of course.

Nothing is quite so scary as road rage LA style when you know the person getting angry probably has a colt .45 in the dash board.  

Blogger Newmania said... 10:03 pm

I must say my experience of US driving is also alarming although nothing compared to the French. They do have a lot more space there I suppose. I lived in Western Canada for a while which is , I am told , a lot like the rest of N America and they didn’t drink a lot by our standards. Perhaps that helps . In fact it may well be my imagination but it seems to me that its only in Europe where do so much of the pretend violence and danger. I recall the Pistols toured America having shocked the BBC with their swearing ( gasp) and somewhat taken aback to find the audience taking out guns when they insulted them. I wonder if we are so safe we take more silly risks ?
My impression with Canadians certainly was that they were very responsible but if there was violence you could expect it to be very serious indeed

What were Saki`s last words Verity ?  

Blogger Ed said... 11:46 pm

The Americans make driving look so easy. The only thing you have to watch out for is lanes suddenly turning off the motorway.

Big junctions are easy in the US - they often give you a second chance to turn off if you miss the first turning!  

Blogger Croydonian said... 9:09 am

Interesting. I will go in search of traffic accident etc data. The French have a more onerous test than we do, and drivers are not allowed to go above a certain speed for a year, but the country has far more road fatalities than we do.  

Anonymous verity said... 2:07 pm

My idea of absolute hell; my idea of Sartre's 'No Exit' (that wasn't on the BBC quiz,Croydonian, or I would have got it right) is driving on a highway or a country lane in France. I mean this. I have never been so scared rigid in my life.

I don't know what it is about French drivers, but the minute they're in their cars, they lose all sense of their own mortality. There is a typical two-lane, curvy, paved road between my old village and the market town, 7km away, and I dreaded driving on it. They travel at 70 klicks even though they cannot see round the next bend, which is perfectly likely to produce someone overtaking at 90 klicks; yet they push you to go faster. Around the next bend could be a pedestrian, an overtaking car (most likely), a child crossing the road to go to school, an animal which would cause you to brake, a kid on a motorised scooter (they're allowed them at 12 in France, to get them started early). Overtaking approaching the top of a hill? No problem. THEY DON'T CARE.

I was pushed so hard, once, by an angry woman driver behind me that she practically had her front fender locked onto my rear bumper. And we were travelling at 70. And this is not a joke - she was so close when I looked at her in my rear view mirror, I saw the dark growth of her blonde hair. She finally found a space of about two yards in which to overtake me.

City Unslicker, this is an awfully silly sentence: "and of course, pack weapons as a matter of course." First, only if it's a state where guns are legal. There are moron states where they are not. And "packing weapons" - why didn't you go all the way and write "pack heat"? - is also misleading. Many pickups have gun racks with guns in them. Openly. That is because they belong to hunters. They don't take their rifles into Nieman-Marcus with them.

In many gun-owning states, it is not legal to "carry concealed". Where it is legal (Texas), people who take their guns with them carry them in their purses or briefcases or belts.

Yes, you do have to watch out for unexpected driving on the freeways, but once you have the knack, it's not really a big deal. If someone is weaving in and out of traffic, you pretty well know that when he spots his exit, he is going to cut across traffic to get to it.

By and large, driving in Texas is courteous and orderly, although a little unconventional by European standards. Most women put on their make-up on the way to work. I had a friend who used to put her rollers in while driving on the freeway and plug them into the cigarette lighter, which gives lie to City Unslicker's suggestion that freeway driving is erratic. By and large, it is very predictable that people are quite relaxed in their cars.

Newmania - He had joined up for WWI and was in the trenches at night. Someone near him lit a cigarette. Saki shouted, "Put out that bloody match!" Too late.  

Blogger The Hitch said... 6:38 pm

I like the act that in france if if you have been caught at the wheel having sunk a few bottles you by be banned from driving a normal car but may still drives a small plastic thing restricted to 30mph.
The Hitch would refine the idea so as to allow the drink driver to set off for a nights fun in the plastic car (maybe with a warning light on the roof)with no worries unless they intend to get or are really really drunk.
Some sort of roadside test such as singing "she wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini" whilst walking a straight line at the side of the road should suffice.
Might be good fun for bored police as well.  

Anonymous verity said... 11:14 pm

The Hitch - It's moot. You would never reach your destination in France in a tiny plastic car.

It would have been savaged long before. The driver would be no more. The French are so sly.  

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