Ditching the Car

An interesting opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday about trends on people moving away from the car.  The stats in the article show that car take up isn’t keeping pace with population growth and the number of people obtaining a driving licence is dropping.  It talks about how driving has, in recent times, been the default position in society and even a coming of age milestone but several factors are starting to erode that ideal.

The article isn’t anti-car or pro-cycling / pro-public transport in any way.  It just states some facts in a fairly neutral manner and the author wishes that they had been taught that not driving was a valid choice and did not make you a “loser”.  Obviously, avoid the comments section if you don’t want to be incited to rage along those lines (pro/anti cyclist).  The author then continues on with some personal anecdotes about their relationship with the car and driving.

One of the most interesting things to me is the blunt honesty shown by the author stating they just shouldn’t be driving and that they are a poor driver.  This personal assessment is very unusual in some respects with several research results showing something like 80% of drivers thinking they are in the top 50% in their driving ability / better than most other drivers.  The author should be applauded and I’m sure many wish that all drivers could make such an honest assessment of their abilities on the road and their actual need to drive a car as their transportation method.

Full disclosure:  I don’t have a car licence and thus don’t drive.  But as a daily cyclists, I feel I am at high risk of injury by those who over estimate their abilities / are inattentive drivers.


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