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  1. #1
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    Teach your children, pleeease.

    Our community has suffered a devastating blow. We've had a rash of fatal vehicular accidents during May and June. Some have been alcohol related, some were folks trying to outrun the law but too many were due to inexperienced driving skills. Two multiple death accidents involved 16 thru 18 year olds with 17 year old drivers, the most recent claiming five lives just four days after High School Graduation. I won't go into the details as they are quite painful, many of you have probably read about it on the national wires anyway. Now my family has no ties with any of the victims, but it's hard not to share in their pain.

    "There are no experienced teenage drivers."

    It takes miles and miles and hours and hours to build the skills needed to drive in todays world. New drivers do not need any extra distractions (passengers). Please, don't sanction your children or your grandchildren riding in vehicles operated by new drivers. My personal rules in my house is "none of my children will ever ride with a teenage driver". That's a household rule that my kids are expected to adhere to. Yes, it's very strict and quite restrictive. Guess what, so is a coffin. Now I know that no one lives forever and sometimes the young must die also, but the carnage in our county has been horrific these past few weeks...way more than what would seem acceptable.

    My prayers go out to those who are suffering, and my conviction is firmer now than ever before....there are no experienced teenage drivers.

    Watch over your loved ones, be aware of who they're with and what they're doing. I would hate to read of a similar incident here on these forums. And give 'em all a hug.

  2. #2
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    I just copied you note and I'm going to discuss this with my son. He's a great kid but I already sense that somehow he is exempt from the laws of physics (he's 16). I fear that because the kids play so much Ninento and whatnot that they already feel like they know what they're doing.

  3. #3
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    I read that story, how heartbreaking for everyone involved. It doesn't matter who is involved, really, whether they are pretty cheerleaders or the quiet kid in school that nobody knows, someone's family is shaken forever. A tragedy of this proportion in such a small town is unthinkable.
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    My wife got ticked at my methods but I lost my cool and read the neighbor the riot act about her kid driving 60 mph up our dead end 25 mph street. Lots of little kids playing and my soon to be 2 year old granddaughter is one of them. Guess what, the kid is driving very slowly on the street now.

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    Two of my grandchildren (twins) are driving with learners permits, they will be 16 in August. I worry everytime I think about it. I think they must take driver ed. at school before they can solo, but as the OP states - "there are no experienced teenage drivers".

    I'm going to print the post and try to get it into their hands. Thanks cranky old dude.

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    Driver education has such little impact that few insurance companies give breaks for it. The program is intended to introduce the teenager to driving. Then it's up to the parents. We all know what happens after that. The ball gets dropped too many times. That is why graduated driver licensing now exists nearly everywhere.

    Once those inexperienced drivers are out on the road, the strong belief that 'it won't happen to me' is hard to combat.
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  7. #7
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    Sadly, youth and cars can be a devestating mix. Throw in some alcohol and it gets much more explosive. We've lost a rash of kids around here already since the end of school. Some were car accidents and one was a kid drinking and DIVING off of a cliff into a lake.

    Fact is...this has gone of for ages. It's nothing new.

  8. #8
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Our small town (about 40,000) has built a huge cement pad where they teach some of the more advanced skills of driving to teen agers.

    Here is the link to a portion of the program.

    http://foundation.parkerfire.org/ind...6&newsitem=433

    We had a rash of terrible accidents the past few years,
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 07-01-07 at 05:44 AM.
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    I am sorry to hear of the terrible accidents in your area, and I can only imagine the pain suffered by the families and friends of the victims.

    But, I tend to disagree that things are worse today than they were when I was young and doing my first driving. I still think most "rashes" have more to do with the fact that accidents get reported from a much wider area (world wide, actually), and the media gets saturated with countless replays of the same story. Additionally, the media tends to focus on those sorts of stories. Then, they play the same story over and over again. IMO, it creates a false sense that the incidents are more numerous than they are.

    For every accident where teen drivers are responsible, the vast majority of teen drivers goes on driving without incident until that majority joins the adult population like the rest of us.

    When I was a young driver, I was not allowed to just hop in the car and disappear. My parents demanded to know where I was going, when I would be returning, and who would be with me.

    That doesn't mean that I could not have gotten into trouble, of course. But, my point is that I didn't just have free use of the car whenever I felt like getting out of the house.

    As for the alcohol issue, I feel that, as it affects driving, all car manufacturers should be required to develop and install a simple interlock device that would prevent cars from starting when the operator has ingested any alcohol whatsoever. . . that would be the end of the DUI issue, period.

    Not saying that some inventive types wouldn't try to figure a way around it, but most drivers would cease to drive when impaired.

    Instead, we meander around the issue, build huge bureaucracies to deal with the after effects, and refuse to root out the problem at its source.

    my 2 cents.

    caruso

  10. #10
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude
    My personal rules in my house is "none of my children will ever ride with a teenage driver". That's a household rule that my kids are expected to adhere to. Yes, it's very strict and quite restrictive. Guess what, so is a coffin.
    How do they date?

  11. #11
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    That is so sad. My 19 year old waited an extra year, by his own choice, before he started driving at 17. He's a pretty good driver, but I fear it will take a traffic ticket for him to realize he's not superman.
    My 15 year old already received the bad (good) news. Grades not good, attitude not good, then drivers permit not approved. He'll have to show a new level of maturity if he wants a license or wait until he's 18.
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  12. #12
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg
    How do they date?
    Perhaps their city has public transportation, or they know how to ride bikes or walk?
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  13. #13
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Perhaps their city has public transportation, or they know how to ride bikes or walk?
    It's still so difficult to be carless in this society. We have almost too many options... and very few places have adequate public transportation. Where I'm at in Kansas you have to drive 25 miles to the grocery store. Not many things for the kids to do in the town, which is probably why there's so many young mothers.

    Here in the Twin Cities, I wouldn't take* a bus at 11:00 pm... I have an acquaintance who is a bus driver, and she says it's changed tremendously in 25 years, with quite a few hoodlums apparently commuting to their drug corners by bus.

  14. #14
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    P.S: I didn't mean to imply that Cranky Old Dude was too strict... I'm jut wondering at the logistics of it in this day and age. Does he end up driving them around a lot? Are other parents doing the same thing? Has the new "under 18" driving laws changed the way kids date? Just trying to catch up on the times. When I* was young, the drinking* age was 18.

  15. #15
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    Lenny,

    As a fellow Rochesterian, I know what we are all going through. It's a shame that we've lost as many young people this Spring and Summer. As a Father and Grandfather my heart goes out to all of those that are suffering with these losses.

    Chris
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg
    How do they date?
    The 22 year old dated a guy from two blocks away when in her teens. Both sets of parents were more than willing to provide transport when needed. Once college started (she commutes from home), there wasn't much time for dating plus she had her own car and no one had much money.....lotsa TV dates at one house or another....and her dates were always a welcome addition to all of our family activities which I or my wife drove to.

    Hasn't become an issue for the 18 year old twins yet, and they'll be attending college away from home in seperate cities in a few weeks. Much like their older sister, they concentrated mostly on their studies (all three graduated High School with high honors, top 5% of their classes), and their immediate circle of freinds. Lotsa sleepovers and pajama perties and not a single girl drove, they were all delivered and picked up by their parents. What the girls do when they get to college is their call. They'll make their decisions based on the quality of the job the wife and I did raising them. I pray we did well enough.

    As CARUSOSWI so eloquently stated, back in our day...most parents were quite
    strick about teens taking the car out. Mine were also, yet I can vividly recall several incidents when, as a teen I was quite uneasy as a passenger in a car being driven too fast or too recklessly. Yes, I came out of those situations unharmed...but a little wiser. My parents should have been stricter, perhaps. It seems to me that many parents are much more lax in this regard now days. Are we putting too much faith in Driver's Ed or are we just too busy with STUFF ? I don't know. But I do know that States have legislated progressive drivers licensing to help limit the carnage of inexperienced drivers, and it doesn't take much effort or inginuity to support and abide by those laws. We can't eliminate these tragedies completely, but we do need to be pro-active in keeping them down to a minimum. After all, it's our duty to help protect our kids...all of our kids.

    Just my two cents.....and I'm done.
    Thank You for the opportunity to rant....
    Last edited by cranky old dude; 07-01-07 at 04:14 PM.

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