'Men better drivers' ruling sends Spain's women loco

The price for women of the same age was 850 with the argument that on average they needed five more lessons to obtain a driving licence. Photo / Thinkstock
The price for women of the same age was 850 with the argument that on average they needed five more lessons to obtain a driving licence. Photo / Thinkstock

A Spanish judge has risked the ire of women everywhere after ruling that a driving school was within its rights to charge females more because it was proved that "men were better drivers".

Judge Javier Albar was asked to decide whether a driving school in Zaragoza was discriminatory for offering men a cheaper deal on a course of lessons than women.

The offer, made in November 2011, advertised a deal where for 665 ($1090) male learners aged between 18 and 22 could get as many classes as necessary to pass their driving test.

The price for women of the same age was 850 with the argument that on average they needed five more lessons to obtain a driving licence.

After a flurry of complaints, the Gasque driving school of Zaragoza was fined 4000 for sexual discrimination and told to drop the disparate offers. But the school appealed and presented research to back up its claims that women needed more lessons than men to achieve the same standard of driving.

The judge agreed, overturned the fine and ruled that a different price for courses offered to male and female learners was not discriminatory.

In his ruling, he cited official data from Spain's Directorate of Traffic that proved "every single year, men displayed greater dexterity and better open road skills" than women in their driving tests. Therefore, it was acceptable within the law to offer men a discount because, on average, they needed fewer lessons.

Spain's Women's Institute said the offer was a clear case of sexual discrimination and it would petition for the matter to be taken to the Constitutional Court.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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