Considering the XR and the GT range are pretty special, and that Ford has been pretty smart with inclusions such as EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and ASR (Anti Slip Regulator) , would YOU be prepared, as a customer, to buy one of these cars with a Ford approved defensive driving course as part of the purchase price?
I believe that FPV will more than likely introduce stability control onto their range and with all of these active electronics, make a gumby driver a little bit safer when their ability gets confused with their ambition.
In fact I think it would be a great selling point across the range, especially for cars aimed at first car buyers (what a great way to sell the car to the parents who are probably buying it) and to the enthusiast that is looking for a car in the mould of the XR/GT.
What do you think? Does a company have a duty of care to minimise the risk to a purchaser when they buy something potentially lethal?
Does the saying ' caveat emptor' apply to the customer when they make a purchase and that this does not just apply to the product but their motivation for buying it?
Or is the duty of car be placed upon the licensing authorities, basic driver training schools or at the foot of the idiot behind the wheel.
I am obviously a fervent believer of personal responsibility and don't believe that the responsibility can be shifted to the State (That is Communism in my book) Each risk has to be weighed up to the enjoyment factor. I am also not a litigious type but I am well aware that NSW is the most litigious region of anywhere in the world (including California).
Would you pay more ($1000) for John Bowe or his team to give you a defensive driving course which is part of the purchase price of the car.
While I believe the training should be optional, the insurance companies or state governments should provide incentives to attend advanced driving courses that meet a certain standard. The incentives could be cheaper insurance, or cheaper rego or drivers licenses, or even, god forbid, more points before you lose your license, altho to gain the extra points should only be available if you have lost less than half of your existing points.
Training on the newer safety features is needed, especially more than the half hour "show the features" just before driving out of the showroom. Look at how many people don't use ABS equiped cars properly, even now.
This is a great idea as it will certainly kill-off any supercar-scare thoughts that the govt will most definately raise...
I believe It should be optional, but once you buy an FPV vehicle or a vehicle from the XR series you get a half price discount for the training. =) But the idea is strongly backed up by FOMOCO (maybe they pay the other half?)
If it was included in the price, I wouldn't complain, but if it was an option, I'd be more likely to leave it and go for something like a big stereo or sunroof instead. Unfortunately, market research shows most other Aussies would do the same thing.
In a country where our politicians constantly ram the 'speed kills' furphy down our throats, we have the most woeful driver education standards before you can actually gain a licence to drive something like a Boss290 powered GT.
While I'm a big fan of the idea of advanced driver training, I doubt it will ever become widespread unless state licencing authorities make it mandatory before you can get your licence...
The cost issue is a huge factor to the regular public, and making it widespread would help lower those costs, and other incentives like lower insurance, licencing & registration charges if you have a record of driver training should also be considered.
Personally, I'm in favour of a system where high performance cars (be they V8, Turbo or whatever) are kept completely out of the hands of young, inexperienced drivers.
In NSW, bikes have a capacity cap when you're a learner and 'P' plater that you are only exempt from after you turn 30. It seems (if I've read other posts correctly) that Victoria does have something along these lines in place for their licences.
We need to look at every aspect of our licencing system and include things like driver training at the very base, beginners level, not just at the high end of the spectrum.
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I know that on other posts I have made the point and outlined a collective plan for car clubs to lobby insurance companies en masse for reward discounts (similar to Amex, and I guess other cards) with the ultimate aim of the insurance company blackmailing, I mean lobbying, State Govts.
What I am really interested in though is if buyers of Hi-Po cars would pay a little bit extra to have a defensive driver training course included in the price.
I realise that this is aimed at the upper level of the spectrum but this level is where company execs, decision makers etc (and this means directors of Insurance Companies and business leaders with political clout) frequent. BMW and Honda certainly offer these courses for their clients.
There are a number of very good courses around, and the idea is not to have Ford Aus. pay for the courses, but to have these companies develop/provide a course for new car buyers of Ford products. The price of the course is written into the price of the car and becomes another seliing point.
This can also be used as an introductory course for new drivers that have their first car (such as a Ka, Focus or Escape) and the parents are involved in the buying process (be it security on loan or providing finance)
We can forget about the State Govt. providing any sort of current and retrospective defensive driver training because of the cost, forced compliance and reduction of revenue form speed cameras.
To clarify: The course is still paid for by the customer, but it is included in the price of the car. It would be a negotiation between FoMoCo and the course suppliers with FoMoCo paying the initial fee and the fee being recouped from the customer in the purchase price.
Consider it as part of the car options. More important to have the course than a wank stereo or Playstation!
Driver training should be a compulsory subject at high school. Get to the drivers while they are young and just starting out.
The kind of cars you are talking about GTs and XRs are getting expensive now days. The kind of people buying them new are in their 30's and 40's. These people, though not driving experts, are nether the less experienced drivers who enjoy driving and are out to enjoy the fruits of their labours.
Most people in this bracket (but not all) are past the dangerous, spin the wheels at every corner stage.
Though everybody can benefit through more driver training, I believe it's school kids that would benefit the most.
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