Remove GDL Laws

January 7, 2013
Each of the 50 states has some set of laws that restrict the freedoms that newly licensed teen drivers have. Many states employ restrictions that prevent a GDL driver from operating a motor vehicle with more than one non-family passenger. Other states restrict teen driving during late night hours. Regardless of the type of restriction, any impediment to the freedom of a teen driver is useless.

The states claim to be saving lives by instituting GDL laws. I personally find it impossible to attribute a minor decrease in deaths from year to year to a piece of legislation. The GDL laws also unfairly place each newly licensed driver into a group of so called "reckless and inexperienced drivers". If the driving level they display is so horrible, licenses might as well be issued after the age of 18. Apparently, at age 18, immaturity and inexperience just disappears, regardless of the age at which an individual received a license.

It is also impossible to measure the level of obedience that teens display in regards to GDL laws. From my own experiences, obedience is fairly low among the individuals who drive poorly and put themselves at risk. The only people GDL laws prohibit from driving unsafely are the rule-followers that would drive safely regardless of the amount of passengers or time of day.

Not every individual is the same. The notion that all teens are poor drivers is false. A law can't change the reckless mindset of some teens, nor can it prohibit the crashes and deaths caused by the teens who the GDL law's message did not reach. However, what GDL laws can do is restrict the freedoms of newly licensed drivers who have no issues with the responsibilities of driving. Their strive to always act appropriately and follow laws prevents them from engaging in the activities that some irresponsible teen drivers participate in.

The solution to a reduction in teen crashes and deaths is a socially-instilled change - not an overly restrictive law. While I respect the supposed caring that our legislators show when instituting GDL laws in the name of public safety, the implementation of the laws just isn't effective. It creates inconveniences that need not be applied to already responsible individuals, and it does nothing to address the existing issues.

Often times positive change is better enacted by an entity other than government.

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