I had to have a giggle when I saw this report in the Oz media today.
THE Saab car company is set to mount a protest against new rules that would see probationary drivers fined $1100 and awarded three demerit points for driving one of the Swedish cars.
From Sunday night, VicRoads will introduce a new definition of high-powered cars that will prevent newly licensed drivers from driving a car with a V8 engine or a car with a turbocharger or supercharger.
A stupid law made by stupid people who want a one-size-fits-all rule so they don’t have to do too much. But I digress…..
This is the bit that made me laugh:
“We are about to approach the relevant states to see if we can get the blanket ban lifted on safety grounds,” Saab spokesman Emily Perry said.
Ms Perry said the company would stress that its cars were not very powerful despite being turbocharged.
So, now you know. Your car is not very powerful and any delusions you were having about jet ancestry and getting the power of a 6 with a turbo-4 should be piled out the window along with all the memorabilia you’ve collected.
This is the Fast and the Furious generation and these laws have been prompted by a number of deaths in the last few years on Victorian and NSW roads, many of which involved kids in hotted up and turbocharged Japanese cars taking themselves out of the gene pool. As tragic as that is on it’s own, they often took someone else out with them.
It’s hard to know where to stand on this. Yeah, we need to slow probationary drivers (like this guy) down until they get a better handle on controlling their cars. Limiting their choice of vehicle is one way of doing that, but it shouldn’t penalise car companies that make responsible, safe, turbocharged vehicles like Saab do.
I’m also a little baffled as to why Saab Oz are making this newsworthy. Some teenagers from wealthy families won’t be able to drive Dad’s modern Saab? Those families have probably got enough money to get the kid a Lancer or something better anyway. The P-platers buying their own cars might be tempted by an old classic 900, but it’s going to be a fairly small percentage.
The issue as reported in the story is that Saab’s entire range here in Australia is turbocharged and the kids won’t be able to drive the family vehicle once this ban comes into effect. Are the effects from this really going to be that huge?
Probably not. But I’d join Saab in asking them to review it anyway as I think the law is poorly thought out. Driver education and good parenting will make a much bigger dent than these new laws. You can’t say that if you’re a government department, but you can if you’re a blogger.