It’s safe to say that, little as I expected of the Newman government, the reality has generally been worse. Still, I’m going to give them credit on whenever it seems due, and here’s the first thing they’ve done that I can happily support. Following the recommendations of a study commissioned by the previous Labor government, it’s planned to drop the reverse parking component of the Queensland driving test. Ever since I failed my first driving test on this score 40 years ago, I’ve regarded it as a piece of utter stupidity. Why should anyone else be concerned whether I can reverse park, any more than they should care whether I can change my own oil? If anything, the worse I am at parallel parking, the better for everyone else – not only do I leave more spots for them, but they don’t face the risk of being jammed in a spot by someone who has skilfully parked their car with millimetres to spare.
This seems absolutely obvious. But, to give the contrary view, I turn the mike over to Paul Turner from motoring body RACQ, who manages to ignore the obvious contradictions in his statement.
“What we want is safer drivers, so we think the more it leans to a strengthening of the licensing system, the better,” Mr Turner said.
He said although reverse parking did not carry a high crash risk, it was still a “technical skill” that deserved a place in the driving test.
I’d suggest that a more relevant “technical skill” would be a stiff test in formal logic. That would clear an awful lot of bad drivers off the road.