Driving "Privileges"

November 11, 2011
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“C’mon, Dad! Why not?”

He turned looking disgruntled. “Because I said so,” he responded in a cold voice. I knew better than to pursue the topic after a statement like that. This entire dilemma is nothing more than a perverse joke in my mind. Don’t you believe that a junior in high school who aced his driving test and has never had an accident should be allowed to drive to school? I’m the kind of kid who stops at the stop signs and doesn’t go past the speed limit (with the exception of 5 mph). This presents the question, why am I being punished in such a cruel and unorthodox way?

It all began on February 31, 2011, when I flew through my driver’s test with flying colors and was one of the first to ever receive a compliment from the elderly, demanding instructor. “I believe that you are one of the best students I ever had to drive with!” Shortly after, my parents purchased a “family car,” but due to the fact that I am the oldest in our family, it was basically mine for the time being. Once my junior year began, I joined my school's golf team to help me manage my excessive free time. This also was a temporary excuse for me to drive to school which I relished for the few, feeble months that golf lasted. Once the season ended, the hammer came down. No longer was I allowed to drive to and from school.

I immediately confronted my parents to at least make an attempt at ending this dilemma. “Why can’t I just drive to school? I already pay for my own gas, and I don’t drive like a daredevil.”

The answer wasn’t shortcoming: “We pay for the auto insurance, so we deserve the right to say when you can and can not drive. Driving is a privilege, you know!” Ask any teenager with a license, and they would agree that this is just simply not fair! To make matters worse, I quickly discovered that only a few other juniors and hardly any seniors still ride the bus! A majority of them had either failed their driving tests or didn’t have a vehicle, therefore, leaving me alone in this complex predicament. The fact that I still ride the bus places the impression that either I don’t have a ride, or I failed my driver’s test in other people’s mindsets.

A few of my friends also asked why I don’t drive anymore, and I can’t help but respond in an aggressive voice: “My parents won’t let me!” Who knows? Maybe a solution is just around the corner. A new sport, job, or activity could save me from the hell of riding the bus. However, I believe that wanting to participate in an activity just so that I can drive to school isn’t morally correct. Maybe this will work out one day, but until then, I don’t want to be known as that kid who rode the bus from first grade through twelfth.

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