Statistics are just numbers and you can interpret numbers any way you want – for good, for evil or just for fun.
Apparently fewer people applied for driving licences at 17 years old. However more do at 18. Or something. Therefore one can over-interpret what is really happening.
The liberal, metropolitan, right-on view is that youngsters really don’t need to drive anymore. “What with the fact that Jocasta as a point of principle insists on being carbon-neutral and cycling absolutely everywhere. Jonty, though, takes the Tube, and the night bus is oh-so-convenient and you meet such lovely people.”
Yes, that’s fine in NW3. For the rest of us in the sticks – where we openly point in wonder at buses because there is no discernable service – you have to drive.
Teens know this and take two distinct routes. If they haven’t got the cash then they take the ‘Ped’ route. That’s what they call mopeds in these parts.
At 16 years old they can hop on and buzz off to school, clubs and part-time jobs. Those with indulgent parents (that’s me) have a car and insurance bought for them – and then give the parents plenty of worry. Not as much as the parents with a teen balanced precariously on a ’Ped, though.
To not have a vehicle in rural parts is social suicide. So without any exception at all, every single teenager in my social circle has passed, is learning or has just failed a test. Not driving is not an option, otherwise you won’t work, won’t go to college and generally won’t have fun.
This must be terrible news for the Green Party which seems to want to stop us doing anything and going anywhere. Except on a horse and cart.
I would like to think that this mass connection with personal transportation means that enthusiasm for motors is not on the wane. If it means more souped-up Vauxhall Corsas and baseball caps worn at a jaunty angle, then so be it. I have faith in a petrolhead future. How about you?