The Truth about Curfew

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The question is should Cook county extend their curfew for minors on weekdays and weekends? In brief the extension of curfew would only make minors happier and take away some of their juvenile disdain for law enforcement. One hour is not going to keep anyone from doing anything that they would have done with one less hour. Early curfew for minors may have a few positive effects, but in the end should curfew should be later.

The majority of students would agree with an extension of curfew which was recently changed from 12 pm to 11pm on weekends and 11pm to 10pm in Cook county. The extension would have many positive effects for minors. Students who have jobs that require them to work past the curfew on weekdays are left driving home after curfew hoping they won’t be pulled over, and if they are pulled over they are at the mercy of an officer who may or may not believe their story. The need for extended curfew extends into education as well. If a student is out past curfew working on a school project once again they are at the mercy of an officer who may or may not be forgiving. For some athletes their sports practices keep them out past curfew. The shortening of curfew has put athletes in a position were it is either not participate their sport or activity, or risk the ticket and do it anyway. There is also the less popular option of having one of your irritable parents or adult siblings picking you up late at night from your activity. Either way there is no way out of this dilemma but to extent the curfew.

In addition to the obstacles and setbacks a weekday curfew sets for minors, a shortened curfew on weekends also has it own collection of cons. The weekend holds a significant amount of the time that a minor is able to relax and spend time with friends. It is no lie that there are minors who engage in illegal acts on weekends such as drinking, smoking, and drag racing. But the truth is that one less hour of freedom is not going to stop any of these offenses. By shortening curfew it will just push all of these events to an earlier time it won’t prevent any of them. It’s as though someone is just rescheduling a meeting or sporting event. The shortening of curfew will only provoke some minors to break the law just based on the idea of teenage rebellion and “sticking it to the man.” The extension of curfew will allow parents not to worry so much about their child if they are required to be out beyond curfew for any job/activity related occasion. By extending the curfew police officers can turn their attention from catching minors trying to get home after curfew, to more serious offenses. Having fewer minors being ticketed for being out beyond curfew will in turn unclog the county court system, that has a portion of its time eaten up everyday in handing out fines to minors and pushing them out the door only to see another offender come in.

When the new curfew was set on the New Year many people didn’t even realize that it had changed. Many parents of teens have no clue that the curfew has changed for their minor. Many teens know about the curfew but neglect to tell their parents about the change. This non realization has completely negated the new curfew. Many teens have also claimed that their parents don’t even care that they stay out past the curfew. This lack of concern from some parents supports the decision to extent curfew. If a parent is not worried about their own child why should the state be? This lack of knowledge or just plain ignoring of this new law only calls for alternate solutions one being the extension of curfew for minors.

Parents and law enforce have their own opinions about the curfew laws as well. Their opinions are compelling and legitimate. For one, they believe that if a student were to stay out to late the student is more likely to engage in dangerous and illegal actions. Second, is that driving at night would be more dangerous and riskier for a less experienced driver. And lastly that minor drivers are more susceptible to being struck by a drunk driver late at night. While these arguments are reasonable and with good intentions they are based on assumption and what could happen. First, a student is no more likely to engage in an illegal act an hour later at night, it’s not as if the police station closes at midnight. Second, saying driving at night, while there is less vision, is more dangerous is false, the night at 11 pm is no lighter than the night at 12 am. If anything the road will be less crowded at night giving valuable experience to a young driver. Finally, the opposing argument that more people are struck by drunk drivers at 12 am and later is a fact and very legitimate, but it can be made less of a risk. With more officers paying more attention to drivers who are driving erratically and not looking closely at cars to see if the driver looks under the age limit. The curfew extension will decrease the number of drunk drivers who can cause harm to a minor, thus making the road safer at night.

Extending curfew may have its own considerable disagreements, but the positive value that can be had is overpowering. The extension will make driving at night safer and valuable experience for drivers. It will make parents feel better about their child driving late at night. An extension will quill the need from minors to rebel and stay out past the curfew because they will be most likely satisfied with the new curfew. The positives of an extension of curfew are overwhelming, and the curfew should be extended. This extension should be seriously considered by Cook county.





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Bethani said...
May 23, 2010 at 11:40 am
I don't live in your county but I agree with you completely if I was in your position. Great job!
 
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