I’ve noticed, that the news about car accidents involving novice drivers (usually teens) tend to increase again. It’s always sad to see, that a young life is brutally changed forever or even extinguished, just because one moron thinks he’s the hero and wants to show off to his girlfriend/beer-pals/*insertrandomfriend*. Often enough, the one that causes the accident survives relatively unharmed, whilst uninvolved people get heavily injured, are left disabled or even die. And almost always, speeding and/or alcohol are also involved.

I understand, that in autumn, the road conditions aren’t perfect. The sun is low, its foggy at night and in the early morning, and often there is damp foliage from trees on the road. Perfect conditions to overlook something or losing control of your car, even when driving carefully. I also understand that when you get your driving license, you don’t have the driving experience nor the routine. I’ve made my License about 6 years ago. I’m still gaining routine and sometimes get in tight situations.

In Switzerland, people who want to get a driving license, have to take various courses before taking the final exam. This includes a First aid course and a 6 lessons course on Traffic and Vehicles (Verkehrskundeunterricht). After that, you can take the written exam consisting of 50 multiple choice questions, where you need to get 36 questions right. The tricky thing is, that there can be multiple answers correct. If you think answer A is correct, but in reality B and C are correct, you have 3 negative points. This can add up very quickly.

After passing the written exam, you can finally take the practical exam. That is 45 minutes of driving with an instructor next to you. Usually you will have some city-traffic, Parking sideways (on a busy road of course) driving backwards, maneuvering and some Motorway driving. In addition to that, they ask you about what you see on the dashboard and what the different lights mean.

When I took the test, you got the driving license once you pass the practical exam. Nowadays, the freshly-baked drivers are obliged to take a second driving-safety course within one year of passing the final exam. And they are on probation for 3 years i believe. That means, NO speeding, a 0.0 policy on alcohol etc. Getting caught not following these rules ends in revocation of your license. Makes sense to me as the driving license is a status symbol for youngsters, and losing it seriously damages your reputation.

To enforce adhering to the speeding rule and driving reasonably, Ford has introduced MyKey, a system where parents can control the way their kids drive with dad’s car. The system uses information like max-speed or max-volume of the audio system saved on the ignition key.

Storing driver-specific Information on the ignition key is not new, but its the first time that this is used from a security point of view. I hope, that system works and that other car manufacturers will incorporate this into their cars.

If only one life could be saved with this, it was worth it, not?