Add another point in the “intolerance” column for Russia. The country, which has significant road-safety issues, is attempting to cut down on traffic by reducing the number of drivers in the country.
However, the government has decided to pare down the number of motorists by implementing an incredibly discriminatory and arbitrary law.
Russia has already become an increasingly unpleasant place for LGBT people, and this measure will likely only heighten tensions, as the Russian government has made it clear that they believe a wide range of sexual preferences – namely, transsexuality, fetishism, and exhibitionism – to be bona fide mental illnesses.
The ban also revokes driving privileges for pathological gamblers, kleptomaniacs, and other “impulse” disorders. Experts agree that all of these “illnesses” have very little effect, if any at all, on one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle.
Russia, which has an astronomically-high 30,000+ traffic-related deaths per year, believes that this measure will help create safer roads in the country. However, the law seems much more aimed at blatant discrimination than solving the traffic fatality epidemic.
Not only does the evidence fail to support that people with these “disorders” are any worse at driving than “average” people, but the people singled out do not comprise a large enough part of the society to have much of an effect.
Perhaps the most serious consequence of the new Russian law is that it may deter people with the aforementioned problems from getting professional help, for fear that they may be diagnosed and stripped of their driving privileges.
Only time will tell, but this Russian law will likely cause a major rift in Russian society. Again.