The skill, knowledge, and experience required to acquire and retain a drivers license should be proportional to the potential impact of the vehicle being driven.
As it is today, one can only gain a drivers license by driving a car--even before driving a moped. As a result, the costs associated with presents a significant financial burden for low income persons to become mobile, especially since we lack adequate public transit services in the areas where they can most afford to live.
Drivers pursuing a license should be required to demonstrate their skill on smaller vehicles (bicycles, mopeds, and/or motorcycles) before graduating to more difficult vehicles. This minimizes the additional risk to other roadway users while also ensuring that all drivers fully understand the risks and challenges posed to more vulnerable roadway users.
Furthermore, drivers should routinely be required to prove their knowledge and skills when renewing their license. Minimally, the department of licensing should check drivers' reaction time. Additionally, drivers should be required to participate in a brief refresher course (such as a video and test or or other interactive medium lasting 15 to 30 minutes) to ensure that all drivers are aware of their obligations as drivers. The content of these courses should be guided by law enforcement and the legislature based on changes in driving rules and common causes of traffic accidents. Ideally, driver knowledge and abilities would be assessed using driving simulation technology that is cheaply available today.