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VIC Drivers Licence - Is Driving a Privilege or a Right?

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by brimstoneSalad, 8 October 2016.

  1. brimstoneSalad

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    I hear people claiming "driving is a privilege, not a right", yet I do not understand why it wouldn't be a right.

    If a person has their full drivers licence (acquired legally), and insofar as they are abiding by the road rules, how could they possibly not have the "right" to drive?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Driving is not a privilege. Do not listen to others, particularly police, who say it is. Authorities are playing word games till the community just accepts it using the principle that if they say it often enough for long enough people will believe it.

    Driving is a right we all have, assuming we pass the test to show we are capable of driving.

    No petty bureaucrat sitting behind a desk has the discretion to indiscriminately decide who can drive and who cannot.
     
  3. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    I disagree with Rod - in part.

    If driving was a right, then it is at the very least, a conditional right.
    Those conditions being...
    1. That you demonstrate a certain minimus of competence
      in order to be permitted to exercise that right
      (ie pass a driving test/ have a licence);

    2. That you continue to act lawfully while you hold a licence
      (there are offences you can commit while driving,
      some of which can cause you to lose your licence, and
      there are civil liabilities that can arise from
      acts or omissions while driving);
    I also agree with Rod - in part.

    By that I mean that an administrative decision (as distinct from a court imposed penalty)
    to suspend/ revoke/ cancel a driver's licence, like all administrative decisions,
    must be made in good faith, for proper purpose, on reasonable grounds (which can be often pre-identified - such as in Road Rules, or criminal law).
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tim,

    Most people, including police, do not have the legal training to understand the difference between rights and privileges and I have heard police use the statement as a way of implying 'you only have a licence because we let you and it's at our discretion'. We need to disabuse the police of this fallacy.

    To me, a privilege is an advantage or immunity that is available to some class or group, that sometimes may or may not, be granted as a favour. Driving doesn't fit this definition.

    I don't disagree with what you've posted and I firmly believe driving is a right, albeit a conditional right as you have mentioned.
     

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