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Think Twice Before Raising Driving Age

1149 words - 5 pages

Considering the increasing fatal accidents caused by teenage drivers, it is not surprising that many parents have their hands up and agree to the government’s proposal of raising the legal driving age to eighteen. Besides, what parent would not be concern about their child’s safety? Parents who had their evenings interrupted by the squeal of rubber tyres in their neighbourhood as immature kids raced down the suburban streets might be inclined to support it too. So might anyone who had the unfortunate experience of having their loved ones struck by irresponsible young drivers. However, before rushing to endorse the plan, there are a few questions parents need to ask. Will the scheme really solve the problem, as the government encourages us to believe, or will it create more problems especially for parents? Are there any alternative solutions to the issue that may be more effective? Finally, is it fair and equitable to punish ‘all’ 16-year-olds where a majority are careful, law-abiding drivers in the expense of a few reckless minor’s mistakes?

It is true that eighteen is the defining age where one is deemed legally adult and is considered mature enough to handle one’s own responsibilities and the consequences of one’s actions. Therefore, it is assumed that 18-year-olds should be given the keys to their own mobility at this stage, as driving is regarded as an ‘adult responsibility’ similar in nature to drinking or smoking, and hence should carry the same age restrictions. Nevertheless, granting young people to drive right at the point when they can legally consume drugs such as alcohol and nicotine is surely a step in the wrong direction. This action will only increase the number of car accidents rather than to reduce them. By allowing teenagers to drive without the temptation of performance inhibiting drugs, you can at least provide them with an opportunity to explore and learn the real dangers and challenges of being behind the wheels in hope that they will make safer choices. Besides, the ability to drive cannot be liken to the ability to drink or smoke as driving requires proficiency test and those who drive have to adhere to strict rules before receiving their license. They are not simply ‘let loose’ in cars, but are taught how to operate them properly and have to prove that they are competent.

What about teenager’s addiction to cell phones that can easily distract them from safe driving? According to a survey by Allstate, about 49% of parents are concerned about distracted driving compared to speeding and other drivers. This is a question of experience and individual adherence to good driving rather than a question to age. If young people are more likely to be using their cell phones even when it is unlawful, raising the driving age will not solve the issue. Every year, children are becoming more technologically adept, so it stands to reason that this would simply delay the trouble as opposed to resolving it. Additional resources could be...

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