Posted by: S | March 11, 2011

New Law Proposes Teens Can’t Drive After Dark

As an oldest child, I was the test subject for my parents to experiment on. I had early curfews, had to wait until I was 13 to get a computer, and had to wait until I was 16 for a cell phone for shits sake. Needless to say when it came time to set my younger brothers’ curfews, they were later, and they were rewarded with technological advancements earlier in life. Younger kids have it easier because parents learn from the mistakes they make the first time around. However, once in a while, that theory backfires; the older kids screw up a lot, and the younger siblings have to pay.

From 2005-2009 over 12,000 people were injured in accidents involving teen drivers (it wasn’t me). Nassau County legislators Judy Jacobs and Judi Bosworth have just jointly introduced a proposal to ban smoking in cars of teens and prevent them from driving after dark. I mean, forget about the mischief, how will they get to pep rally!?

Now, I’m not sure where the no smoking rule comes into play, but not allowing teens to drive at night really stinks. In Nassau County especially, a night out involved driving to the convenient store, flashing a faker than fake Michigan ID, getting shot down, and then proceeding to drive around all night. In circles. For hours. Was this fun? Well, maybe sometimes. But it was cool because it was something you couldn’t do the year before.

The fact is that imposing this “after dark” ban would make getting your license at 17 pointless. Since you can drive to school and work with a junior license, during the day, where else are you gonna go?

Accordingly, I have compiled a list of questions for these legislators to consider before their vote.

  1. Don’t 18 year olds have enough responsibility? Now they need to be sober so they can drive their friends around
  2. Have you figured out a way for teens to get to Wendy’s by roller skate? Or is late night food no longer made for 17 year olds
  3. Is it fair to make them tell their parents who they’re shadily hooking up with? Asking a parent to drop them off kind of takes the anonymity out of the equation
  4. If you don’t have experience driving at night, simply being a year older will not make you more equipped
  5. Do you really think that parents want to still be driving their kids? They finally get them to 17, they just wanna lay down!

And these questions don’t even cover topics like where will they fool around when their parents are home, and what will they do instead of driving? I have no doubt that teens will find new and improved ways to find trouble.  In fact, I predict that teenage girls will feel more pressure to put out to college boys just to get a ride home at night.  I mean, the negative side effects of passing this statute are endless.

So I propose that we leave things as is, and just get better Driver’s Ed teachers.  True story- one Sunday morning my Driver’s Ed teacher pulled us over to have a softball catch.  It’s possible our time would have been better spent driving.  Just a suggestion.


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