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raise the driving age

and lower the drinking age
  (+7, -16)(+7, -16)
(+7, -16)
  [vote for,

in the past few years, especially in the spring and summer, we have been hearing more and more stories of the needless deaths of teenagers in car crashes. the horror stories usually appear in the news on friday or saturday, when the all-too familiar phrase "just received his/her driver's license the same day" sends shivers down my spine. many times the phrases "alcohol may have been a factor" and "excessive speed" are also included, and the death toll is usually about 3-5 teenagers per crash.

i propose raising the driving age to from 16 (here in ontario) to 19 or 20. at the same time the drinking age should be lowered from 19 to 16, so that the kids have a better idea of how alcohol can affect them by the time they start driving. this, combined with the increased maturity level at 19 or 20 years of age will hopefully put an end to these horrific crashes.

mihali, Jun 07 2001

ontario's graduated licensing plan http://www.mto.gov....er/gradu/index.html
[mihali, Jun 07 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Speed cameras not infallible shock http://www.independ...ory.jsp?story=76264
... next they'll be telling us that some of them are just empty boxes [mark_t, Jun 07 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       mihali, of course this is going to be unfair in that it will penalize all the responsible 16 year old drivers who do not drink. Keep in mind also that many, many people live in rural areas and public transportation to jobs and after school activities is not an option. I know your heart is in the right place with this post, but you can't punish the many for the stupid actions of the few.
Susen, Jun 07 2001

       I am 23 and looking back to when I was younger, answer this: How are they supposed to get around then? Taxi's? You gonna pay for? And do you think their parents will drive them everywhere?   

       It seems like a sensible idea until you consider the practicality. You would effectivly make anyone under 19 a second class citizen. You may as well take away their right to drink, smoke, vote and have sex as well and be done with it.
CasaLoco, Jun 07 2001

       No, I'm all for this. Infringing on the rights of the rare 16-year-old who is mature enough to drive is a small price to pay. You say it is "punishing the many for the stupid actions of the few," but I do not agree. I think sixteen-year-olds who are ready for this responsibility are very few and very far between. I would say raise the driving age to 18.   

       As for drinking, I'm for abolishing the drinking age altogether. Too much of anything is damaging to children and adults, and adults (parents, guardians) are charged with the duty of teaching moderation in all areas to the immature that are in their custody. Drinking shouldn't be any different. Smoking is different because of the apparant susceptibility of the underage to addiction (I never smoked in my life until I was 20, then I smoked for a year and had absolutely no problem stopping hen I realized how idiotic it was -- many of my friends started smoking in their early and mid teens and couldn't stop to save their lives... literally). I don't find drinking to have the same effect for some reason. And driving, well, it's clearly just too much responsibility for the young to handle.
globaltourniquet, Jun 07 2001

       waugsqueke - How would you enforce the whole to / from work only thing then? You'd have to know that a person was in their probationary period, where they worked, where they lived and what constitutes a reasonable route between the two.   

       The visual indication of the probationary period has already been done in some cases, but as for the rest I'd say they'd be nigh on impossible to determine. Given that speed limits go largely unenforced and it's comparatively easy to tell if someone's breaking those I really don't think this would be a restriction that would be enforceable.
mark_t, Jun 08 2001

       yes, ontario has a graduated system. i'm with you waugs: i'd like to see more restrictions and a longer phase-in period, as well. i just don't think that _all_ (notice the emphasis) sixteen-year-olds understand the responsibility they undertake when getting behind the wheel of a 2000+ lbs contraption of steel and glass.   

       there was a news story not too long ago about a man in quebec whose son was killed when he flipped his acura integra over and over again after taking a bump on a deserted road at high speed. the whole thing was videotaped by the kid's friend, and the kid's father now tries to get that video shown on as many news programs as possible to let people know how easy it to lose control of your car, especially when you do stupid things. earlier in the tape, the view is from inside the car when they perform the jump, showing that they had done it a couple of times already. the stunning part about the tape is how clear and in focus the whole thing is (bright sunny day, dry road) and also how easily the car just went end over end like it was a toy. his story partly inspired this idea. sorry i couldn't find a link.
mihali, Jun 08 2001

       UnaBubba - we have speed & light cameras here as well, and where they are set up they do stop people from speeding / jumping lights. But in-between the camera locations speeding is still extremely common (not jumping lights so much, though - mind you, that never was).   

       However, both speeding and jumping lights are comparatively easy for a camera to detect (and the cameras still quite frequently get it wrong - see link). How would you build a camera (or any other automated device) to detect whether or not someone was in their probationary period and whether they were on a sensible route between work and home?   

       And if you can't do it automatically that means that it's something else that the traffic cops have to worry about. Quite frankly I'd rather have them concentrating on catching drink-drivers and people who speed through populated areas, whatever their age / driving experience.   

       The alcohol detection device is a possibility, but imagine what fun all your drunk friends could have breathing on it and causing the car to cut out whilst you (perfectly sober) were driving them home from an evening at the pub. And after you've been on soft drinks all night too, the stinking ingrates.   

       waugsqueke - but doesn't the system depend upon people knowing who's still under the probationary period, or there being some form of indication (like the voluntary green "P" plates that we have in the UK)? If you live in an area with a sufficiently large population to allow relative anonymity and remove the probation indicator then there's a very slim chance you're going to get caught unless you're pulled over for something else, hence my comments about unenforceability.   

       The problem with any graduated license scheme is how do you tell who is an experienced and who is an inexperienced driver? I would imagine that what would happen is that "inexperienced" would be taken to mean "young" and that drivers who waited until later in life before passing their tests would by and large be able to ignore the probation period with impunity.   

       It just seems easier to me to set up detectors for / legislate against the stupid and dangerous acts we're worried about inexperienced drivers committing than trying to prevent those drivers (who might well be perfectly sensible) doing things everyone else can do.
mark_t, Jun 08 2001

       I'm sorry, I'm sick of everyone assuming that age is THE factor in whether or not one can drive. Granted, it's unrealistic to expect, say, most 10-year-olds to be able to drive...but it's also unrealistic to expect that simply by raising the driving age from 16 to 18, or even 21, we could improve the new drivers. I'm 18, got my license about a year and a half ago, and frankly i think the single big improvement would be to require SIGNIFICANTLY more behind-the-wheel instruction (much like is required in many parts of Europe). I only needed 7 hours driving, 7 hours "observing" from a backseat, and i was licensed--far too little, had I not already known how.   

       I think a second good idea would be to enact and enforce much stronger penalties, rather then over-the-board restrictions, between the ages of oh, 16 and 21 (or even just the first 5 years of driving, regardless of age, if you want to get real liberal :). This would drive home to the dummies that drinking and driving, for example, or speeding is a BAD idea before the habits get much of a chance to form. Also, it's the closest idea I can find to "penalize the ones who are doing wrong, not the millions who do OK but don't get on the front page for it."   

       granted, I'm biased as I am one of these teenagers who has to live with people rolling their eyes and making cracks about my driving, though I am more scrupulous than a lot of the adults i know...but i have a bunch of friends i think could use a ticket they wouldn't forget. Far preferable to losing control of their cars on a curve some night and not graduating with me next week.
Urania, Jun 09 2001

       In view of the last two comments and my own sense of realism, this gets my vote. I've written off one car already (when aged 19) and I think if I'd had a probationary period of a year or two before being let loose on the streets on my own, that wouldn't have happened. More to the point, <rant> if the other guy hadn't been such a white-ford-escort essex boy with far too high a proportion of expletives in his vocabulary, and if HE'd had a probationary period in his youth, that write-off would have been less likely to happen. </rant>

Totally agree with the European alcohol points though. Apart from the Hungarians, everyone else learns how to deal with it and is far more responsible than Brit teenagers.
lewisgirl, Jun 09 2001

       In Florida in the US, the drinking age is 21. Still have drunk teenagers getting in crashes. As with all laws, more is not equal to better. Enforcement of the ones we already HAVE is better.   

       UnaBubba, for a while there was an attempt to make people wear seat belts by rigging the car such that it would not start unless the seat belt was fastened. It made a lot of people buckle it permanently, and sit on top of it, and it was finally given up. It'd be trivial to put a turkey baster into the blow thing and blow clean air over it until the car started. Even though I never drink and drive, I'd probably do that anyway rather than have to give my car a...I mean, rather than have to lean over and blow into something on the dashboard.
StarChaser, Jun 09 2001

       First, require every city to provide reliable, cheap public transportation, and only then will this idea be practical.
nobody, Jun 09 2001

       Alright, im from kansas and raising the driving age is pointless. more people will be inexprerianced when they reach age 19 or whatever it is. the thing is not age.i agree with the guy that says we should require more training. that should be the issue not age. i am not stupid enough to drink and drive.
Nibr, Mar 27 2002

       one problem with lowering the drinking age is that underage drinking would get younger. a large proportion of people that i know had been drunk by the time they were 14 (legal limit is 18), lowering the age would (over time) end up with lots of drinking 12 year olds
chud, Mar 27 2002

       I live in Maryland, and I've just barely made the 16-year driving age (two years from now it goes to 18, I've heard). I don't think making the driving age higher will prevent any accidents. If anything, it will increase the number of underage drivers from kids who dont want to wait until 18, and whose parents are tired of driving them everywhere. I can't drive yet, but I'm close (5 months from my permit) and I've been watching everything closely, especially watching mistakes my friends who can drive are making. I'm going to try and drive as responsibly as I can, and I know the consequences of speeding, not paying attention while driving, etc. because one of my older cousins got into a bad crash that put him in the hospital for two weeks.   

       What I would propose if I were one of the politicians making this decision is to eliminate the driving age completely. I say make all drivers (even those who already have their license, meaning EVERYONE) pass higher standards to pass the test, and let anyone over the age of 14 take the test. The higher standards would keep many people from getting their licenses on the first try, but it would be worth it since all new drivers would be better prepared to drive in the real world. I honestly believe that I, as well as most of my friends, are mature enough to be able to competently control a 2500+ lbs. car down the road. This country (the US) has some of the lowest driving standards for any country in the world. In some states, you dont even have to take an actual driving test where you get in a car and prove your skills to the examiner! You take a written test, pay the fee, and be on your way with your license, with the state (or any other motorists) having any idea how well you can actually drive. Every country in Europe has higher standards than even the most stringent driving requirement our system can muster. They have higher driving ages too, but thats not my point. What is my point is that in Germany, Italy, and I'm sure many other countries you can drive with almost unlimited speed, and yet those countries still have a lower crash rate than we do! Fewer people are allowed to drive because of two reasons: the stringent requirements, and the fact that the licensing fee is a few hundred dollars. That tells you that most people who can drive can also afford cars in decent condition, unlike many of the clunkers on the verge of falling apart that I see on our roads (and not just those driven by teenagers, either). An emissions test is not enough to determine if a car is in running condition, and many people put off routine maintenance because it costs money. In Europe, people take immaculate care of their cars, to the point where they would be considered beyond obsessed did they live in the US. I believe the US should take after the Europeans, if not matching their standards completely, at least matching them closely.   

       Finally, I believe the drinking age should be lowered significantly, from 21 to maybe 12 or 14. The reason there is so much underage drinking is solely because it is illegal. Many people break laws just for the thrill of it. If the drinking age were lowered this much, there would be a sharp spike of drinking in teenagers and kids, but it would drop probably close to zero after all the kids and teens realize how much alcohol can screw up everything for them.   

       If none of that works, heres the best idea of all: switch the drinking age and the speed limit, and watch all the alcohol companies die. (Just kidding)
Bert6322, Jul 14 2002

       Which states don't require a driving test for first time license holders?
A pair of twins I know both got their first tickets while driving separate vehicles within 15 minutes of one another the day they turned 16. "Display of speed" was the charge in each case.
They already knew how to drive 2 years before they got their licenses/tickets.
They're Italian, and wine was part of the consumables at dinner from time immemorial.
To them, drinking a beer with a neighbo(u)r was no big deal - even at the age of 8. Their attitude was "It's no big deal - if we have some now, it'll be no big whoop when we turn 21". That was no longer true by the time they were 21 - they never got caught driving drunk - though they did drive in that condition.
thumbwax, Jul 14 2002

       // How are they supposed to get around then? //   

       "By bicycle" always did me pretty well as a teenager.
JKew, Jul 14 2002

       Raise both ages (drinking and driving) as high as you can politically get away with.   

       Kids are about as responsible at 16 as they are at 13, which is to say, they aren't. Don't let kids have cars. (Or perhaps let them drive mechanically limited cars that can go only 55 mph and always have warning lights flashing on top. If you want your kid to drive, you pay for the added equipment.)   

       As for drinking, well, the legal age doesn't really matter if you can get anything you want on the streets illegally. But in principle, raise the drinking age and you'll probably reduce teen pregnancies, teen murders, traffic accidents, etc.
horripilation, Dec 06 2002

       Eliminate licensing. It's a free world, dammit.
horripilation, Dec 06 2002

       // It's a free world, dammit.//
Try telling them that at the checkout counter. =/
Pharaoh Mobius, Dec 06 2002

       I like the idea of raising the age to get a drivers license, but I don't like the idea of lowering the drinking age (that's just foolish). Kids don't need to drive or work, they will have plenty of that later. I don't think that 19 is reasonable, because they need to be able to drive when they get to college.   

       How about 17? 16 is just too young and 18 doesn't work because some people (like myself) didn't turn 18 until a few weeks before the start of college.   

       I also like the idea of connecting driving priveledges (there's no right to get a license) with decent grades and good behavior in school.   

       I like the idea, but I can't vote favorably for the whole thing.   

       JKew - I AGREE! I spent ALOT of time on a bicycle when I was young.
bspollard, Dec 06 2002

       //I don't like the idea of lowering the drinking age (that's just foolish). //   

       Why? mihali gave a good reason for proposing it; it deserves a reason rather than such a dismissal, imo.
yamahito, Dec 06 2002

       This would result in driving being a highy desireable skill, and therefor highly paid, os bus fares will rise, the price of cars will rise, the cost of a taxi ride will rise, and no-one will be able to go anywhere unless by train or super-maglev-railway. Actually, yes, make it a Bachelors for a Motor Bike, and a Masters for a Car. PhD for HGV's.   

       But then our prices on goods would rise, and we'd suffer hyper-inflation or extreme poverty.   

       Oh well, win-some loose-some.
tyskland, Dec 06 2002

       I think that the driving age should be raised because one time I was driving through Georgia and got hit in Alanta. The people were only about 17 years old!! They didn't even know what to do. They just kind of stood there.
geakster1837, Dec 17 2002

       17? Ha! Thats nothing, just wait until you reach Scandinavia.
tyskland, Dec 17 2002

       Down here (Victoria AUS), there is a condition which makes the occurrence of drink driving fall significantly.   

       For the period that you hold your learner's permit (6 months -> 2 years supervised driving) and when you hold your probationary license (first 3 years of solo driving) you MUST have a blood alcohol content of 0.00. Any infringement of this is punished with loss of license. Once you are out of your probation, the limit of 0.05BAC is enforced with harsh penalties and suspension/cancellation of license. A large number of "booze busses" (large mobile testing points that can test 20 vehicles per minute) and the new system of every squad car having a breath alcohol meter in them means that the rule of all drivers being tested for drink driving after all accidents and during all traffic stops has lowered Victoria's drink driving rate, because the message has been made clear that if you drink and drive, you WILL be caught and punished appropriately.   

       Unfortunately, there are always losers on the road, and no matter what we set the legal ages to be, some people are still immature. Only through adequate enforcement of the law will they be deterred from doing stupid things.
reap, Dec 17 2002

       I think yes to raising the driving age, but no to lowering the drinking age. 18 is a good driving age because you get more responsible as you get older. ALSO, that is the age most people go to college, so that should keep them busy. DON'T LOWER THE DRINKING AGE! You're just inviting people to become addicted!
sailormoonfan, Jan 25 2003

       Agreed, the legal age for driving, drinking, smoking, and having unprotected sex should all be 18. And you should have to pass a test that proves you understand the process and side effects of each to obtain respective licenses.
count_crackula, Apr 08 2003

       So you could have unprotected sex at 17?
sufc, Apr 08 2003

       And having a sex test. Would the sex test be oral?
sufc, Apr 08 2003

       I completely dissagree with raising the driving age, it would be a real in convienence for parents, i mean c'mon so many parents have to work it would make it really hard to get a ride to practices & such, I have new impressions in the mornign and cheerleading, &track after school so my drivers license is a really esential tool. besides I've had less accidents than both my parents & my sister, so really it's not at all the age it has to do with maturity level & experience..
sk8er_gurl, Apr 30 2003

       18 - more public trasportation - people use less oil--->less polution -save money - decrease drink and drive rate -if teenager drink, they can take bus or taxi home. -Because of we have public transportation-->>more job.   

       Most of people in my country take buses and taxi to everywhere so WHY american people can't do it!
Niji Stylist, May 12 2003

       Yes, I am sure that where ever you live have a great public transportation system, but do you not realize that in other countries it might be different? In America the transportation system is really poor. Either way, i am for this but not the alcohol part because you have to arrest the kiddies for something.
ChernoLeviathan, May 14 2003

       Not sure about the drinking bit, but yes to the driving age. I knew someone who died in a wreck very soon after turning 16. They determined she was going about 90 when the curve came up on her. The car went airborne, through a 20-year-old tree, and wrapped itself around a very large tree while the engine flew 100 feet away. That wasn't the first time a 16-year-old kid died that way, nor was it the last.   

       There's a reason insurance is highest for 16-year-olds: they're the highest risk. There's also a reason we have licenses in the first place: a car is a killing machine. A license to drive is a license to kill. How many 16-year-olds can responsibly handle a firearm?   

       There's also a reason we Americans can get it at 16, and almost everyone has forgotten it: farmers. See, out on these family farms, the boy (usually) had to help out, and a highly useful way was for him to drive the tractor. That was illegal, but it had to be done for the family to keep the farm going (in many cases), and enough farm families lobbied that the law got changed. Other states followed, to this day. So, really, 16-year-olds here are only taking advantage of something that was not meant for most of them.   

       I got my license at 19, and I'm 20 now. I'm not as good a driver as my parents, nor have I much experience, comparatively speaking. But even a lot of the grownups here are lousy drivers. I've seen the driving tests here, and they are a 5-minute joke in a tiny parking lot. Now, combine that 'test' with immature, inexperienced kids who are just starting to become independent, and usually are rebellious, and you get the present situation.   

       Yes, raise the driving age, yes, make the tests harder and more expensive, and yes, enforce the drunk-driving laws more.
galukalock, May 15 2003

       Sorry to hear of your loss.   

       Many kids do need independent transport from an early age. The dangers can be solved by applying meaningful restrictions and penalites, such as:   

       Limitation of type of vehicle: Golf buggy/ tractor/ 50cc scooter. Personally, I'd like to see special vehicles designed for low performance, passenger carrying capacity and high safety   

       Limitation of area: No point further than x miles from the kid's home, no interstate highways or overpasses, no designated dangerous roads and congested city centres   

       Zero alcohol: No minimum blood alcohol limit. 8 hours between the bottle and the ... the gas pedal   

       Higher penalties: Forfeiture of vehicle on second moving violation of first serious offence, plus fixed penalty topping up to a total amount according to the family's income after taxes and mortgage payments   

       The limitations would probably attract complaint from those brought within the age bracket. There could be a phased introduction with a waiver on individuals already licenced by a certain date in the future.
FloridaManatee, May 15 2003

       I'm 17. My mother doesn't drive. Got into an accident when she was younger and was scared away ever since. NEVER having anyone to drive you ANYWHERE, especially having to carry home (or to work) a 40lb backpack and a 5 foot tall saxophone case on a crowded transit bus isn't convienent.   

       I understand why I didn't pass my road test when I was 16; thank god that I didn't, who knows who or what I might have mangled by now.   

       I drink, but would never think of doing so and then trying to drive home in an inebrieated stupor.   

       I don't find the idea of being catapulted through my windshield pleasant, nor do I want to try to drive through a tree trunk at 80km/h, trap myself under a transport truck, run a red light and maim innocent people, end up a vegetable, or try to fit 8 people into an early 90's Japanese midsize.   

       I want a safe, plain, boxy, grey Volvo after I pass my road test next week. I sure as hell don't want to load it with a bunch of fellow Grade 11's and hurtle down the QEW at 140km/h, either.   

       But I digress. To be quite honest, I don't know if most 16- or 17-year-olds should be licensed, but how would I know if I'm no average 17-year-old?
jacy, Jun 11 2003

       In Spain kids can ride a scooter when they're 14. And they've just brought out a new car with small scooter engine so they can drive, too. Surprisingly, there are lots of accidents. The experience thing someone mentioned above is important. Perhaps it would be an idea to let people have increasingly bigger engine according to age, in the same way we don't let just anyone drive trucks.One good thing in Spain is that recently passed drivers have to have a green "L" on their car for a year after their test, so we can see 'em. Somehow, we must take aggression out of driving, and stop promoting speed as a socially cool thing.
git, Jun 11 2003

       THe in-car breathalizers do in fact work... They work very well! Here in California, if you get a DUI, then you get one of the little things that you have to blow in installed in your car. You blow in it to start the car, and you blow in it every 30 minutes or so if you want to keep the car going. Now, you may think you can just have someone else (sober) blow into it. Wrong, I tried blowing in my friend's car thingamajig, and it failed me. He blew into it, and it passed him. I was completely sober, absoloutley no alcohol whatsoever. THese machines should be required for everyone who gets a DUI all over the States.
sjruckle, Jun 11 2003

       I think 14 year olds should drive. their just as responseable as 16 year olds. they just wont drink at that age. their probably more responceable.
kjh90kev, Nov 20 2003

       There are always going to be bad drivers. From my experience driving almost an hour to work everyday, those drivers are young and old. Whatever you say, some 16 year olds do have jobs. Oh, it would be nice if we could save that for later, when we're all grown up, but some of us have to start a couple years early to save enough money to come close to affording college. And sure, public transportation is great. If there had been any bus where I lived, even a smelly one that bumped around alot, I would have taken it. I wonder if some of the people who say "just ride your bike" or "just take the bus" have never lived in a rural community where buses don't make sense because there's not the demand for it and riding your bike means leaving for work the night before. I agree with making the restrictions and penalties harder. Here (Atlantic Canada) there is a zero-tolerance on alcohol for new drivers and a midnight curfew (unless you applied for an exception due to your job). I'm all for making the road test a little harder, I know people that got their licenses at 16 and at 25 that never should have passed.
meow, Nov 20 2003

       Raising the driving age would hardly do a thing, except making people wait for their license. If you think about it, it takes about 3 years of driving for someone to become a good driver. Give that to a teenager of say, around 16, and they're a pretty good driver at 19. (excluding all alchohol thoughts) Now, think about giving a license to a new driver at around age 20. They won't be a good driver until around age 23. Insurance would also change their standards to fit that driver category, seeing as there would be a definate increase in accidents. I'm not saying this applies to everyone, but it applies to the majority of citizens.
Kalarceet, Nov 20 2003

       In Britian there are no laws against smoking whatever age (it just wouldn't work as you couldn't really charge underaged kids - because they're underaged kids) - instead there is a law against selling stuff like this to small kids... How about something similar to that?... or why not just make sure we don't hand driving licenses out to alcoholics????... Those licenses take ages to get - over that period they could be monitored? (I'll have to [-] this because, although it's common sense and logical - it just doesn't work)
Ossalisc, Mar 01 2004

       i dont believe by raising the driving age youre accomlishing anything. im going to college at age 17. if they raised the age i would have to learn in college away from home. i hardly call that safe. i know 10 year olds more mature than 16 year olds and 16 year olds more mature than 25 year olds. maturity does not come w/ age it comes wiht the indivdual. by the time you are 16 you need independance. parents cannot drive you everywhere, they have their own lives. with 16 comes the responsibility of a job and a car. i believe thats how it should be. as far as lowering the drinking age i dont think we should. in europe for example there isnt always an age limit. here we tell children its something they cant do so of course they want to. in europe its not that big of deal. i just do not think they way we bring up our children readys them for the responsibility of drinking at such a young age.
edils, Mar 14 2004

       //you MUST have a blood alcohol content of 0.00.//   

       This is funny. It's funny because originally the limit was 0.02 for provisionary drivers (as it still is in WA). This was because normal food and drink, and normal body chemicals, can cause a reading above zero in breathalyzers - like any instrument, they're not perfect. So 0.02 was decided as a reasonable "zero point," to allow for vagarities of the breathalyzers and the body (ie. to stop false positives).
Detly, Mar 14 2004

       i'm doing a persuasive speech on this topic for my end of the year final exam and i think that the driving age should remain the same. changing the age isn't going to help anything, as of now you must be 16 or older to take a drivers test, you must then have your permit for 6 months, then drive for 50 hrs with a liscenced adult to recieve your dirvers liscence, and now the government is thinking about raising the age to 18 and up with a year permit and 100 hrs of driving!the age soulud remain the same... if your 16, then your still in school and can take driver training, also more people will be paying insurance so the government should be happy, and why change something that seems to work?¿? and if they lower the age then parents dont have to drive students to school or sports events, and kids are responsible to babysit and take care of other peoples children on their own so why not drive? if you get a permit earlier and a liscence at 16 then you have more time to practice and parents get more chances to work with their children with their driving skills. also if we keep it at 16 but only if individual recieves 90% or more on both tests then there will be more knowledgeable drivers on the road and more money is made at SGI because many people will have to take the test more than once. i do realize that there are some negative consequences to lowering the age too but i dont see anything wrong with keeping the age the same. ~laura~
lilbabylaura34, May 18 2004

       Raising the drving age to 18 is a huge mistake. How much easier is it to get alcohol when you are 18 compared to when you are 16? What are you gonna to do the day you get your license and you have easy access to beer or other drugs? you probably will go out and party, get trashed and try to DRIVE home. When people say that at age 18 people suddenly become more mature and therefore will have less accidents if they dont get their license until then, they dont know what they are talking about. Did anyone ever think that maybe its the two years of driving expirence that cause less accidents when a young driver turns 18? It's not that they are suddenly mature, but they have more expirience. If the driving age is raise to 18, then the age group with the most accidents will be young 18-20 year olds. In fact it will probably be worse because they've been waiting two years longer for their license and can't wait to get out on the road w/o their parents. We've got to ease teenagers into responsibility. We can't expect them to have none, and then when they turn 18 expect them to suddenly be able to handle driving, living alone, not smoking, lottery, breaking the law and being charged as an adult, paying bills, insurance, doctors, the list goes on... Raising the driving age is a huge mistake.
ebeb11, Jun 29 2004

       In a lot of places, car is the only way to get around. American public transportation is horrible. True, a lot of teenagers only use their licenses to drive to the cinema and such, but raising the age would seriously inconvenience many who have to work. Another note is that there are going to be people who move out of the house and become independant before whatever age you set. I moved off and went to college when I was 17. Being mature enough to live on one's own yet not enough to drive a car is silly. You're going to have horrid drivers no matter what age you start it at. I still know people in their 20's who have no business being behind the wheel. I'm going to have to [-] this.
evilmathgenius, Jun 29 2004

       I'm 20 years old and my country says that I am responsible enough to go to war and die for the country, but at the same time I'm not responsible enough to drink a beer. That's crazy. The belief that teenagers are to irresponsible to drive seems based on the fact that teens are involved in far more accidents, but maybe that's because the bad drivers are weeded out over time. These teens that get in accidents probably lose their license by the time they are in their twenties, so its no wonder why the accident rate drops. Besides maybe its not a responsibility issue at all, maybe it's simply a matter of motor skills and practice. If we wait until people are nineteen to give them a license they are just going to have more driving that needs to get done with less skill and practice, they will still be new to the pressures of the road. I say leave the age level at sixteen and make the test harder.
westernchaos, Aug 24 2004

       hi im 15 and live in PA i turn 16 in april and drive at 16 no matter what happens but i still think that the driving age should not be raised because i have younger brothers that i wont feel like driving all over the place when they turn 16 because my parents wont want to and honestly do u really think that raising the driving age 2 yrs is goin to solve the problem i dont. it will just leave 18 year-olds unexperienced instead of 16 year-olds and the maturity level isnt much of a difference i mean look at high schools and ask those teachers wether they think 10th graders or 12 graders are more mature and by how much cause in my school its not by much and my school sends 99.9% of the senior class on to colege ... the age to get a permit could even be lowered to as soon as u turn 15 so that u get a year of experience behind the wheel with an adult in the car then the permit written test should be made harder and driven test should be harder... there should also be stricter restrictions on the minor license to ensure safty and all high school students should be tacken to the scene of a crash to show them what the victems look like and how bad it really is it just might effect them
sean08, Mar 13 2006

       I'm not sure how UK tests compare with the rest of the world but we now have to do a 45 minute theory test, a computerised hazard perception test, and an 45min-1 hr driving test, exhibiting control and displaying competence in set maneouvres such as reversing around a corner, parking etc. Considering that the first two measures were only introduced recently, and that the volume of traffic on UK roads has increased tremendously in the last 20 years, it's fair to say that my generation has had to pass a more stringent standard of testing than my parents' lot did.

I think stricter testing is the solution to this problem. Stupid/incompetent people of all ages will always abound, and an attempt to insulate them from natural selection at cost to everyone else's personal freedoms is the wrong approach. What should be done is to ensure that rigorous effort is applied to the task of identifying those who aren't suitable to drive at test time.
DocBrown, Mar 14 2006

       [phlish] while I agree with the mfd, I'm not inclined to delete this due its age and the amount of reasoned commentary that has grown around the idea.
bristolz, Mar 14 2006

       i think nobody should be aloud to drive. people should just be less lazy and ride their bikes or walk everywhere.[too many people are overweight] all cars do is ruin the ozone layer. everyone is gonna die in about 20 years because of that. ************************* preserve the ozone layer. preserve the rainforest. preserve life. *************************
bobathie, May 14 2007


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