High-Performance Licenses: Should They Be Considered?

People are driving cars to work every day and wherever else they need to go. Some may be doing it in a high-performance car. While those powerful cars can be fun to drive, they also can be dangerous to the driver, their passengers, and everyone else on the road. That’s why some people say high-performance cars should require drivers to get a high-performance license, but others disagree.

The government already requires different licenses for different vehicles

A Ferrari high performance car parked indoors.
Ferrari NV | Nathan Laine via Getty Images

The idea of requiring drivers of high-performance cars to have a specific license isn’t that far-fetched, as various licenses are required for certain types of vehicles. The most obvious example is a CDL or a commercial driver’s license. This license is required to operate certain large vehicles, such as semi-trucks, buses, garbage trucks, and more. 

Another common type of license is a motorcycle license, which, as its name suggests, is for anyone who wants to ride a motorcycle legally. Compared to a regular driver’s license, these licenses require people to pass different tests, which means they are required to learn different things.

These licenses are required because it’s obvious to people and politicians that just because someone knows how to drive a Toyota Camry, it doesn’t mean they know how to drive a bus. Some people feel similarly about high-performance cars, as they are equipped with far more power than the average car. Therefore, they think high-performance cars should require their own unique license. 

The arguments for and against a high-performance license

According to The Drive, the debate around high-performance licenses is more complicated than that. For example, despite CDLs being required to operate certain large vehicles, drivers don’t actually need a CDL to operate all large vehicles. RVs and motorhomes are very large vehicles, just like a semi-truck or a bus, but most drivers don’t need a CDL to drive one. 

As such, the government may want to close that loophole before adding more licensing requirements. Many commenters on The Drive agree that a high-performance license can be a good idea. Many young and old drivers seem to gravitate toward those types of cars, and having a high-performance license can discourage them from buying such a car. 

However, having a high-performance license can backfire, according to one commenter. It may give the driver an excuse to drive recklessly as they passed the test and have a license to drive a high-performance car. As such, instead of singling out high-performance cars, it may be a good idea to increase licensing standards across the board.

A high-performance license isn’t a bad idea, but there are a lot of kinks

Many people complain about how bad other drivers are, and increasing licensing standards, as well as adding a high-performance license, can be good ways to weed out bad drivers. That being said, while those can be some good ideas, there are a lot of kinks to work out. Enforcement, for example, is one area of concern.

As one commenter pointed out, if someone buys a regular car and then decides to upgrade the engine to the point that it requires a high-performance license, it’s not clear how anyone would be able to enforce that law. Furthermore, while it is true that many drivers don’t need a CDL to drive an RV, that doesn’t mean that the government can’t change CDL requirements as well as create a high-performance license. The main problem with a high-performance license simply seems to be that while it can be a good idea, it would be difficult to enforce.

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