Are Any Drivers Safe? MAG

By Allyson M., Pelham, AL

     What makes someone a safe driver? Cananyone who has passed driver’s ed and gotten a license beclassified as a safe driver? Anyone who has been around a high school atthree o’clock knows this is not the case. If everyone knowsthat most teenagers are not safe drivers, then driver’s educationteachers and testing supervisors should take a closer look. Obviously, agraduated licensing program, which lengthens the time students must waitfor their full license, does not help students realize the dangers ofdriving. To be better drivers, everyone, not just students, shouldundergo more stringent examination.

Recently, a graduatedlicensing program was instituted in Alabama so that students with apermit must drive with a parent, and after six months may get a license.But with this license, students cannot drive from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.(unless returning from church, a school function or a concert). When adriver is 18, he may get a full license as long as he has a clean recordconcerning alcohol or wrecks. Certain states have shown up to a 15%decrease in accidents involving students 18 and under.

Anydecrease in accidents is good, of course, but I don’t believe thisprogram makes students better drivers. It may cut down on accidentsbetween certain hours, but they could happen just as easily during theday. They could also happen when students are older and have fulllicenses.

If the government really wants better drivers, theyshould not lengthen the time it takes to get a license. Instead, theyshould make driving training more rigorous.

I have heard that inone county here in Alabama, all you have to do to get your license isdrive around a building, do a three-point turn, back up and park. Thisis not all a driver needs to know to drive safely! Most motor vehicledepartments require you to drive on a busy road to make sure that youare comfortable.

Another idea to reduce accidents is requiredperiodic retesting. This would keep people from becoming too arrogant orcomfortable in their driving skills.

Accidents happen even to thebest drivers, but states aren’t trying very hard to reduce thenumber of accidents, or they would take a look at their licensingsystems. It seems that at the very least, more rigorous training couldsave lives.

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