Teens And Driving This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   A battle is taking place in my state. New regulations for obtaining a driver's license are being put into effect. The controversy seems to pit parents, teens, and politicians against each other. If the new regulations are intended to improve road safety, they will probably be unsuccessful. What's worse is they will only cover-up the real problem: irresponsible drivers.

The new regulations in Delaware will increase the age and amount of time a "permit" driver must drive with a licensed, adult driver. A temporary license will be issued with graduated steps leading to full driving privileges. The number of passengers permitted and hours for driving would be restricted. The graduated license process is spread over a period of many, many months.

On the surface, the plan seems reasonable. These regulations, however, are aimed only at the teenage driver. New statistics, however, reveal that male teens are no longer the largest accident group. That distinction now belongs to elderly drivers.

Teens are obviously upset. Getting a driver's license means freedom, and most of us can give you the number of years, months, and days until that wonderful moment. You get to say good-bye to the yellow school bus, meet your friends, or go to work. Parents are upset because they see their teens' license as an end to the hours of being a chauffeur. They also feel that they are responsible enough to set an appropriate curfew. They want that control. Politicians, many of whom fall into that elderly category, see the regulations as an answer to all driving problems known to man. Teens are an easy scapegoat.

Unfortunately, the real problem on the roads today is the irresponsible driver. These types come in all ages and can be found driving with or without a license, any time, day or night. A better solution to improve driving safety would be stricter enforcement of current regulations, better road conditions, and frequent retesting of all licensed drivers. Drivers who use alcohol or other drugs while driving should be arrested and serve mandatory jail time. Their vehicles should be confiscated. Teens and all drivers would then be safer. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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