Teens, Driving, and Lawmakers
by Jasmine Dancer
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Teen, Driving, and Lawmakers
Stereotyping teens has finally gone too far, at least according to many parents and teens in the U.S. Many states have raised their driving age, basing it on a small amount of teens who are reckless drivers. This small bit has caused many people’s beliefs to be shaken on teen driving. Since 2000, states have been in a heated debate over the age which teens are awarded their permits and licenses. This caused many people to say yes, raise it, while most say it should stay the same, or maybe even lowered. “…A 16-year-old’s brain is generally far less developed than those of teens just a little older,” (Davis 1). Already, about 29 states have raised their driving age including California, Washington D.C, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, and New Hampshire. In order to get an unrestricted license in these states, you must be at least 18. For the remaining states, the question remains: Should the driving age be raised?
When most people hear this question, most think ‘no the driving age is fine’. Yet after a few minutes of thinking, some say yes. They think about the teen deaths that have occurred, and how that number has raised over the last few years. According to a Star tribune article, in the years 2005-2007 16-and 17- year-old drivers were involved in 116 fatal crashes and resulted in 133 deaths ( Pabst Pheifer 2). Teens are also stereotyped as regarding information that parents give them as untrue. Also, people like Adrian Lund(for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) say they want to raise the driving age because ‘it’s all about safety,’ (Peters 1). Lund claims that “teenage drivers are a menace to themselves and others,” (Peters 1). Many people believe this will give more experience to new drivers.
Most teens and parents strongly disagree with Lund and his followers. “At age 15 or 16, some of these kids are better drivers than most of us will ever be.” (Peters 1). Many argue that at age 16, kids have more sports or activities after school, and parents are tired of having to carpool them. “They have these sports practices and parents need help driving,” (Pabst Pheifer 1). This is one of the many reasons lawmakers stay the bill’s progress. Among other things, teens who are responsible drivers feel like they are being punished for something they are doing right.
Personally, I think that Mr. Adrian Lund is wrong. I feel that teens are better off if they get their license at 16, so their parents can help correct their errors. “Logic says start them earlier, not later,” (Peters 2). Eric peters has a point, if we lower the permit driving age, then teens would get more practice under adult supervision. I also think that it’s not the teens, it’s the program. The driving programs could be changed and made a little better. “…driver’s education courses have done little to lower crash rates…,” (‘Licensing’ 3). Even though lowering the driving age would be preferred, I think that if anything, we should keep it the same.
Whether you say yes, or no, the same question remains. Should the driving age be raised? Many people say yes, most say no, and others say ‘let’s lower the driving age.’ I think we should look into the possibility of lowering it. No matter what your opinion is on the matter, it’s not in our power to see if it is passed, it’s the lawmakers’. They don’t have to make this decision alone, however. Citizens can influence their decisions or they can leave young drivers in uncertain hands.
Davis, Roberts. “Is 16 Too Young to Drive? Numbers Think So.” USA Today: N.pag. SIRS Researcher. Web. 9. Feb. 2011.
“New Licensing Laws.” Facts on File. N.pag., 23 June, 2000. Web. 9 Feb. 2011.
Pabst, Lora Pheifer, Pat. “Caution Teens: Efforts to Raise Driving Age Ahead.” Strartibune.com. N.p., 9. Sep. 2009. Web. 4 Feb. 2011.
Peters, Eric. “Is 16 too Young to Drive?” Points of View. N.p., 23 Oct. 2008. Web. 9 Feb. 2011.
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