Extraordinary Driver’s Licences

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Published on: July 17, 2014

Mr Tom Davies, an ‘anti-drink driving campaigner’, has decided to make a song and dance about the need to abolish extraordinary drivers licences (‘EDLs’). It seems the media is obviously agreeable to such steps as they report how easy it is to get one despite the ‘WA road toll spiralling out of control’. Of course while the media points out that ‘about 6 a day’ are being granted, they fail to point out that on any given day, in one Court, there are usually about 20 applications heard in a sitting. Given that any metropolitan or regional court can hear an extraordinary drivers licence application one can make the argument that there are potentially 50 EDL applications per day, with 6 being granted. Not exactly a large proportion.

More importantly, Mr Davies and the media fail to point out the proportion of people driving within the parameters of an EDL that have caused any death or serious injuries as a result of being granted their EDL. I suspect the figures are not that newsworthy.

The facts are that WA has a poor public transport network which often does not cover the areas required by many individuals and due to the vast land that is WA it is at times impossible to perform duties such as work or obtain medical attention. Without EDLs unemployment would likely rise and place a burden on those people and families that rely upon their licence. It is also a valuable lesson to people that having a licence is a privilege, not a right.

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