On yer bike

Transport minister Karla Peijs has come up with an idea today that will strike fear and panic into the heart of most parents… Not only does she want to lower the age at which teenagers can drive a car to 17, she also wants to allow them to be taught to drive by mum or dad!

Such madness is the norm in the UK – and could even be one of the reasons for that stiff upper lip (it’s actually an expression of pure frozen terror).
Until now, Holland has been deeply sensible. You can only drive with a qualified driving instructor. Lessons cost a fortune as well, so most people don’t learn until they’ve left home and are earning a decent salary. The family car is quite safe.
But if Peijs’ experiement works, there’s no way you will be able to get out of all those traumatic driving lessons you’re going to have to give the kids. Imagine the mayhem. After all, teenagers are programmed from birth not to listen to what their parents say and the fact that there’s a 10-ton truck approaching isn’t going to change that.
It actually makes the idea of being an unpaid, unappreciated chauffeur for your offspring sound rather appealing… At least you won’t have to pay sky-high insurance premiums and your sanity will be preserved. Seventeen-year-old motorists? No thanks! We’re in Holland, let them ride bicycles.

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