Right Of Way

Why does the DMV always have a long line? I really couldn’t tell you, but I could tell you it’s for important reasons, like getting a license. When I got my license, I probably only spent minutes at the DMV doing random, unorganized tasks that needed to be completed before I even take the driving test.

I spent all my time preparing for the test; driving any chance I could with my parents, getting unnecessarily nervous thinking about what I would do if I didn’t pass the driving test and how much better life would be had I passed. You spend all this energy preparing yourself for this great, life-changing test, but before you even take the test, you stand in line to get your fingerprint scanned, signature recorded and excessive sheets filled out. Finally, 30 minutes into the process, your number is called and you go to the door to the side entrance where a tester meets you, and you finally take the driving test. You don’t actually stumble outside — you walk super confidently so that the tester thinks you’re a good driver for some reason.

But then again, you can always fail the first time, the second time and the third time until you just have to pay a little fee and redo the whole process of written test, vision test and so forth. What does this mean? If you are simply just a bad driver, you’re in luck, you can fail the test as many times as you need to before you hopefully pass in the future. Now let me ask you. Do you want to be driving on the highway next to this person who took the test the 20th time passed, and is now driving him or herself home from the DMV?

This is one of the unmentionables that you are not tested on in the Department of Motor Vehicles of California: that out in the real world, there are people who, just like you, went through the process of getting a license, got a license and just don’t deserve it anymore. They do not teach you that some people have forgotten the rules of who has the right-of-way, and what a one-way sign really means.

The process itself should be more in-tune with modern society and the technology advances that it offers. If you pass on your first try, the DMV tests your intelligence on the rules of the roads once on the permit test and on your ability to drive safely once. This is, in the long term, a dangerous way to enable people of having a license. They should be tested regularly to make sure that they are not creating bad habits and repeating mistakes. It may be a mandatory yearly online test. It would simple: you go on, answer 15 or so questions about driving rules and regulations to keep your mind aware of the laws and safeties of driving. If you own a smartphone you could download an app and take the test on your phone. This would keep people with licenses who deserve them on the road and those who do not off the road.