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Old 06-20-05, 02:38 AM   #1
randya
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Teen Drivers

Teen drivers seem to be a common factor in many of the latest reports of cyclist fatalities and hazing incidents. Are we not training our teen drivers well enough? Should the driving age be raised to 21? Is this a problem with parenting? Is it a problem with car culture and car advertising? What are the solutions? Discuss.
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Old 06-20-05, 03:05 AM   #2
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Being a teenage driver myself I feel that I can be one to contribute to this discussion.

I had done probably over 15,000km of cycling before I even got behind the wheel of a car, so I personally knew from experience just what speeding and dangerous driving can do - therefore this prepared me to be a better driver.

There is a ***** load of peer pressure with driving, and even when you are not carrying passengers their minds have been altered into the "must drive fast and show off" theme. I don't know about in the US, but here in NZ we have our graduated driver licencing.
6months on Learner L plates. Cannot drive without a "Supervisor" (has held full licence for 2+yrs)

18months on a restricted. Can drive by themselves between 5am and 10pm and not carry passengers unless they have a "Supervisor". can be reduced to 12months with a defensive driving course (which I found to be completely useless with a BORING AS HELL tutor, but some of the less clued up drivers might get some thought from it)

Can then sit and have Full licence.

Now.. the cars.
Here in New Zealand we have a very high Teen (note MALE) death rate on our roads. We have an extremly high number of AFFORDABLE high performance cars, such as turbocharged Subaru WRXs and Legacys, Mitsubishi Lancer EVOs, Nissan Skyline GTRs etc all imported cheap from Japan. note: PROBLEM.

I myself drive a 2liter Diesel wagon....

Just a few comments for comparison
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Old 06-20-05, 05:31 AM   #3
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NZLcyclist, thank you for your input. I have a 15 1/2 year old who really wants his learner's permit. Drivers Education is optional here and costs extra. I can believe the peer pressure. I remember when I was driving and the peer pressure way back then!

I don't know if raising the driving age would be the answer. A couple of thoughts: Mandatory drivers education (maybe even 2 semesters or 1 year of it), a longer lerner permit (here it is 6 months), longer and harder testing.

My son is looking for a job. If the driving age was 18 (or even 21) that would mean somone (probably me) would have to take them back and forth to work. Of course, riding a bike to work definetly wouldn't work for a 15 year old! It isn't cool!!

As I drive, I constantly talk to my boys about what I see and think. I try to teach them about defensive driving and being aware of their surroundings. I have no idea if they are even listening! Good topic for us to ponder...
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Old 06-20-05, 06:02 AM   #4
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I did not get my learners until I was 16 and a bit, you can get it as a 15y/o here. I think I spent about 8months on it before I went for the Restricted.

Being visually impaired I fail the mandatory eye tests at the Licencing agents, and have to get a form signed by an Optometrist after he has examined me. When I went for my Restricted, the legislation had changed and I had to go to an Opthamologist (note $200!!!) and get a full assessment done. Thankfully he turned out to be a keen cyclist, so he knew that when I said I'd cycled thousands of K's without issue that I can't bee that blind, and along with the tests he signed me off with 150 degree peripheral vision (min is 140!)

I feel that being visually impaired has allowed for me to heighten my awareness - I ALWAYS like to know what is happening around me. I think this has helped my driving, as I am continually using my mirrors, looking over shoulder etc and using my hearing also.

Other teens I think just take what they see in front of them for granted and do not really think about their total driving environment or their responsibility for the control of such a machine. I have the thoughts that there should be power or CC rating limitations on licenses here or even depending on age just like motorbikes (Learner can only have 250cc on motorbike) to stop the use of cars that these teens just do not know how to control.

In response to the current training.
I think that learner should go up to 9months, with compulsory profressional instruction.
Restricted stay at 12 months with compulsory Defensive and practical driver training. (Boring ***** in the classroom, plus stuff with cones and skid pads etc )
Full license - retests every FIVE years. some of the older/middle aged folk around here have NO ****ING CLUE on how to drive... especially when it comes to indicating around roundabouts *shudders*

now my brains have been fried... I'll leave ya to it!

Brendon
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Old 06-20-05, 07:49 AM   #5
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I hesitate to say that the age for getting a full liscence should be changed.

What I would like to see is stiffer penalties for being a bad driver. Not just for endangering cyclists, but bad driving in general should carry more monetary, community service, and jail time. Also I would like to see Insurance companies work harder at identifying drivers which are likely to maim or kill and raise their rates correspondingly.

For example I feel that the insurance rates should be such that it is economically unfeasible for a teen to own and drive many of the types of modern "hot rod" cars that I see them driving. These vehicles clearly lead to unsafe types of driving, and I am amazed that the insurance companies haven't caught this yet.

In addition to this, it needs to become a life ruining mistake to drive without proper insurance coverage. WAaay to many moterists do not have coverage. We need to make the penalties for doing this SEVERE. The heavy fines assessed should be used to pay victims of accidents involving underinsured and uninsured motorists.

Perhaps we should also consider extending penalties for bad driving to the occupants of vehicles as well.

------------

Finally I feel that DUI's are the most immediate threat. (although I have not seen statistics comparing a DUI driver to a teen driver so I guess I don't know). We need to make penalties for DUI more severe I just don't understand how people can get five DUI's. By the second one they should have been locked in some prison in Utah.

Again with insurance. I don't understand how someone with a DUI on their record can get car insurance. They should have to be relatives of Bill Gates in order to afford the coverage. They have clearly demonstrated an inability to accept consequences of their decisions and to appreciate the responsibilities of driving a two ton weapon.

-------

Well after reading this post, I realize that six months in Texas may have changed my outlook on crime and punnishment. But these are my thoughts on how to improve my saftey on the roadways (and sidewalks).
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Old 06-20-05, 08:55 AM   #6
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I made the mistake of getting my license. It's just going to go to waste now. And all that money spent as well.
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Old 06-20-05, 10:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bike2math
I hesitate to say that the age for getting a full liscence should be changed.

What I would like to see is stiffer penalties for being a bad driver. Not just for endangering cyclists, but bad driving in general should carry more monetary, community service, and jail time. Also I would like to see Insurance companies work harder at identifying drivers which are likely to maim or kill and raise their rates correspondingly.

For example I feel that the insurance rates should be such that it is economically unfeasible for a teen to own and drive many of the types of modern "hot rod" cars that I see them driving. These vehicles clearly lead to unsafe types of driving, and I am amazed that the insurance companies haven't caught this yet.

In addition to this, it needs to become a life ruining mistake to drive without proper insurance coverage. WAaay to many moterists do not have coverage. We need to make the penalties for doing this SEVERE. The heavy fines assessed should be used to pay victims of accidents involving underinsured and uninsured motorists.

Perhaps we should also consider extending penalties for bad driving to the occupants of vehicles as well.

------------

Finally I feel that DUI's are the most immediate threat. (although I have not seen statistics comparing a DUI driver to a teen driver so I guess I don't know). We need to make penalties for DUI more severe I just don't understand how people can get five DUI's. By the second one they should have been locked in some prison in Utah.

Again with insurance. I don't understand how someone with a DUI on their record can get car insurance. They should have to be relatives of Bill Gates in order to afford the coverage. They have clearly demonstrated an inability to accept consequences of their decisions and to appreciate the responsibilities of driving a two ton weapon.

-------

Well after reading this post, I realize that six months in Texas may have changed my outlook on crime and punnishment. But these are my thoughts on how to improve my saftey on the roadways (and sidewalks).
Considering the startling number of executions in Texas, it seems like they have the appropriate judicial "system" for dealing with career DUI's--they just have to use it on them.
Seriously, I think there should be gender-differentiated driving ages; say 21 for women and 26 or 27 for men. Add to that an advertising/propaganda campaign that would be aimed at teenaged boys and, using any imagery or language necessary, conven the message that it is unmanly to depend on motorized transport and that only a (insert any necessary words here) wants to go running for a drivers' license the first day they're eligible.
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Old 06-20-05, 10:35 AM   #8
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One more thing--I live in the same general metro area as randya, and wonder if he and others in this region would concur that the last 5 to 10 years have seen a huge increase in teenage street racing and what you could call "extreme speeding;" drivers stopped by police on the freeways exceeding 100-120 mph. It does seem like teen and other impaired drivers are a greater hazard to other motorists than to cyclists; shell of a car around you notwithstanding.
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Old 06-20-05, 11:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randya
Teen drivers seem to be a common factor in many of the latest reports of cyclist fatalities and hazing incidents.
They're quite a common factor in all kinds of accidents. I got in way more accidents as a teen than I have lately.
Quote:
Are we not training our teen drivers well enough?
Did you get trained well enough? Me neither. So the current crop is getting the same end of the stick.
Quote:
Should the driving age be raised to 21?
No. I think they at least need that 2 years of driving before they start moving tanks and humvees around.
Quote:
Is this a problem with parenting? Is it a problem with car culture and car advertising? What are the solutions? Discuss.
I think better training. I also think that all motorists should have to learn about bicycle safety as part of their driving education, and it should be on all license tests. I also think that people need to be relicensed to drive every few years.
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Old 06-20-05, 12:52 PM   #10
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There was a lot of play in the media recently about a brain development study that suggested adolescent central nervous systems--especially cerebral cortex areas involved in judgment and complex behavior--have not yet developed physically. Hence, teenagers will probably be dangerous drivers no matter how much driver ed they get. An analogy would be that a 3 year old cannot learn how to tie her shoes, no matter how much time you devote to teaching her. Her brain has not developed enough to support shoe-tying, and adolescents possibly have not developed enough to support safe driving. If this is the case, we will probably raise driving ages to 19 or 20 at some point. Cycling will certainly be more cool for teens if that happens!
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Old 06-20-05, 01:23 PM   #11
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Fast cars and stupid kids don't make very good odds for anyone...
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Old 06-20-05, 03:32 PM   #12
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oregon does the graduated driver licencing. i think its a good ieda actually.. and i also actuallly had a Bike question on my r\test it ask if your goona turn right and u see a bike a cyclist what do you do? i aced the test btw and watied till i was 19 to drive...
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Old 06-20-05, 04:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Primevci
oregon does the graduated driver licencing. i think its a good ieda actually.. and i also actuallly had a Bike question on my r\test it ask if your goona turn right and u see a bike a cyclist what do you do? i aced the test btw and watied till i was 19 to drive...
I don't think one question about cyclists is good enough. Here's some questions I propose for inclusion (based on Washington State laws)

- In the city, where do cyclists have the right to ride? (On the road, in the middle of any lane if they want OR on the sidewalk, unless local ordances prohibit. Cyclists are not required to use bike lanes if they exist.)
- On Freeways, where are cyclists allowed to ride? (On the shoulder, except certain freeways around Seattle and Spokane.)
- On highways, where can cyclists ride? (Same as above.)
- A cyclist is riding their bike through a crosswalk. How are they treated? (Exactly like a pedestrian, even though this is bad cyclist karma)
- What traffic laws are cyclists supposed to follow? (The same ones you're supposed to know.)
- On MUPs, who yields to who? (Motorized Vehicles -> Non-Motorized Vehicles (including bicycles) -> Runners/joggers/walkers -> Horses)

Maybe a few questions like this would create some decent cycling-relations education in driver's ed classes. I don't remember a single question regarding cycling from my driver's test, so almost nothing was taught about it in driver's ed.

Anyway, about driving age, I wouldn't have any problem making the minimum age to take driver's ed 20 and the minimum age to obtain a licence 21. I'd also like to see at least 250 hours of classroom instruction and at least 100 hours of behind-the-wheel in all four seasons required before licensure can occur. I'd also like to see at least bi-yearly retesting of drivers (and a decent driving test) and strict-as-heck penalties for things that hardly garner a slap on the wrist. DUI just isn't a big enough deal -- going to court and traffic school have become jokes to people. I'm not sure what the impact of Victim Impact Panels are, but there is rarely any jail time involved until someone gets hurt. We're talking at most three days of pokey time.
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Old 06-21-05, 01:32 AM   #14
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Yea i woudl say 18 if they can get there arse shot off in a war then they should be able to drive i think drinklign should be evan 18 but thats me... or raise the age of joing the arm service to 21 maybe... btu still that would suck for a job if u had to drive... had to wait till your 21... "if its far away or very physical"
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Old 06-21-05, 04:17 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Primevci
btu still that would suck for a job if u had to drive... had to wait till your 21... "if its far away or very physical"
Most states require CDL holders (commercial, professional drivers) to be 21 to receive the CDL license. Most firms that employ professional drivers that don't require CDL (paratransit firms, taxis, etc) also have a minimum age requirement, usually 21 or 25. The paratransit firm I worked for requires drivers to be 21, but because I've volunteered for them as an intern they let two-and-a-half months "slide".

Last edited by fallstorm; 06-21-05 at 04:18 AM. Reason: Typos
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Old 06-21-05, 07:00 AM   #16
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Increasing the driving age to 21 would not be the solution here. Sure the drivers would, in theory, be more mature but a 21 year old male/female is just as childish as a 16 year old most of the time. There are alot of teenage drivers out there who ARE curt drivers and adhere to the law, just as there are alot of 45 year old drivers out there who break every driving law on the books. Increasing the age one has to be in order to get a license could possibly put the economy in a hurt locker as most of the "kids" now a days have their own car, which in turn means that they have to hold a job, which is a good thing. Also you have to take into account the <18 year old kids who live with disabled parents/grandparents and their (grand)parents rely on them to make an income and provide transportation for them when the time arrives; believe it or not, but not everyone lives in a metropolitan area where there is a grocer, butcher, deli, sundry store on every corner or within walking distance.
And for those who think the driving age should be 20 or higher, please think it thru first. at age 20 alot of us were working full time and going to college. And alot of us could not then afford to move out of our parents homes in order to do such things. So our jobs and school were a majority of times in a differant city/county where we would have to drive an hour or more each way in order to get there and start our day. Public transportation is just not viable in those circumstances, and these circumstances are more common than most people would like to believe.

However, I do believe that stricter rules should be placed on drivers under the age of 18 years old and that they should be held to a tighter line of the law. Blatently foolish behaviors should be dealt with severely and swiftly and a revocation of the driving privilage should be attached to ALL penalties of doing something such as street racing, reckless driving habbits, habitual moving violations, etc.
My children will most likely not be driving at the age of 16, and if I do feel the need for them to do so they will be held accountable for everything they do, and as my wife once said, will be punished by the hand of Linchpin^H^H^H^H^HGod. <--- not a religeous reference more than an old term referring to "getting you ass whipped by your parents".
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Old 06-21-05, 07:36 AM   #17
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Have you guys noticed that your driving senses are increased after cycling?

We should make all kids that want to become drivers take up cycling on public roads so they learn to give pedestrians the right of way, and so they become aware of their surrondings, when driving SUV's and trucks, and other cars.
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Old 06-21-05, 07:42 AM   #18
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Actually they need to start driving much younger. They learn faster as a pre teen. So give them several years with a permit and superviser. Then something like the NZ teen had only daylight and no teen passangers unless a supervisor is there. The other thing is learning very young takes the macho stuff out of it. Maybe they should be restricted to non-muscle cars for a few more years.

I and my kids learned very young on tractors and trucks on the farm and I believe that helps a lot too.

Joe
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Old 06-21-05, 08:04 AM   #19
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Actually they need to start driving much younger. They learn faster as a pre teen. So give them several years with a permit and superviser. Then something like the NZ teen had only daylight and no teen passangers unless a supervisor is there. The other thing is learning very young takes the macho stuff out of it. Maybe they should be restricted to non-muscle cars for a few more years.

I and my kids learned very young on tractors and trucks on the farm and I believe that helps a lot too.

Joe
Same here.
I was pulling the tobacco planter on an old Ford tractor when I was 12 years old and by age 15 had probably logged in over 4,500 miles in the old farm pickups. Not including the dune buggy and 4WD fun

I never got my license until I was almost 18 years of age though, but by then I had developed some nice driving skills and was very versed in the laws of the road.
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Old 06-21-05, 11:10 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Primevci
Yea i woudl say 18 if they can get there arse shot off in a war then they should be able to drive i think drinklign should be evan 18 but thats me... or raise the age of joing the arm service to 21 maybe... btu still that would suck for a job if u had to drive... had to wait till your 21... "if its far away or very physical"
If your driving is anything like your grammar and spelling, I don't want YOU to have a drivers license anytime soon!
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Old 06-21-05, 11:24 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by randya
Are we not training our teen drivers well enough?
Enough? The problem is that we do not train our "drivers" @ all. The bottom line is that if a 16 year-old can parallel park, he/she is allowed to operate a machine that has the potential to kill me, or you if not used correctly. Yet we don’t require education, or training in terms of how to operate an auto safely, and/or correctly. It’s absurd!

What we need is REAL driver training. Yes, we need REAL education, and training regarding how autos handle, and how to avoid “accidents”. Given that driving an automobile is one of the most dangerous activities any of us do, the lack of any real education, or training just doesn’t make sense to me.
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Old 06-21-05, 11:38 AM   #22
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I got my license and a car at 16 (should have gotten a bike instead, hehe). It's true that there's a lot of peer pressure. For some reason, teens feel that they need to be better than others, so they go out, drive at 100mph just so they can talk about it at school. One of my friends talked all day about how he is a good driver, and to him, good driving is being able to swirve through a bunch of cars at speeds 20-30mph greater than them (he also fell asleep at the wheel once and wrecked his car, but got a brand new one about 2 months later). Everyone who has been in the car with him talk about how crazy he is, and that's probably what he wants.
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Old 06-21-05, 12:01 PM   #23
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I completely agree. My nephew is going through that phase right now. It's really scary to think about teenagers out there doing these crazy things just to impress their peers. It's all peer pressure.
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Old 06-21-05, 02:54 PM   #24
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So how do we fix this? What if the peer pressure was reversed, and it became cool to drive safely instead of like a jackass...
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Old 06-21-05, 03:28 PM   #25
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To avoid peer pressure, either tell them there should be no pressure, or tell them there should be no friends.... hahaha...

realistically though, tell them not to impress their peers, but to stay safe.
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