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Editorial: No drive license until you grad HS

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Editorial: No drive license until you grad HS

Old 11-04-05, 09:24 AM
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noisebeam
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From the local paper. The only thing she missed was mentioning bicycles:

https://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepu...03perry04.html

Let's make non-grads non-drivers

Nov. 4, 2005 12:00 AM

Do high school students really need to drive?

Campuses have been closed to prevent students from killing themselves and others as they race to get lunch and back to school in less than an hour.

Driving is a privilege, not a right.

Teenagers don't "deserve" a driver's license.

Imagine how different it would be if no one could get a driver's license until they graduated from high school.

If someone drops out of school, they can't get a license until age 21. If someone isn't mature enough to finish school, they obviously can't handle the responsibility of driving.

I can hear the howling now, but think about this rationally. Parents could spend quality time with their children and bond while they are driving them to different activities.

Yes, the kids could still participate in after-school activities. Most districts run late buses.

Also, consider how much money would be saved on the purchase of a car, insurance, gas, upkeep, etc.

Plus, parents' hair might not turn gray as quickly.

Too many students drop out of school to work more hours. When asked why they needed more hours, the answer was to support their car.

Why did they need a car? To get to work. It would be different if they needed to help support their family.

A student's job is to attend school and graduate.

When I was in high school (the dark ages), the only cars at the school belonged to faculty and staff.

There was no parking lot for students. We actually walked, skated and rode bikes.

Teens aren't the only drivers who need self-control. Check out the drivers on the freeways. I set my cruise control at 67 mph and it's like I'm standing still.

Cars whiz around on both sides, come flying up behind me flashing their lights and act like I'm slowing traffic.

My dad must be right when he says the speed limits are only "suggestions" to the majority of drivers.

Off the freeways, it's even more challenging.

There are the drivers who poke along going 10 mph under the speed limit and then the ones who weave in and out of cars trying to be the first car at the red light.

Red lights are a whole new ball game. Why do so many people choose to ignore this most basic safety feature to control traffic?

Most red lights are between 30 and 50 seconds. Is anyone's life worth 40 seconds?

A friend of mine called the other day. Her daughter was on the way to work when a car, speeding through the red light, hit her vehicle and spun it around in the intersection.

Thank goodness there were no other vehicles involved. This van was specially equipped and has been in the shop for two months.

The other driver was ticketed and, surprise, had no insurance.

No wonder Arizona has the highest insurance rates in the nation.

Those of us who take our responsibilities seriously by obeying speed limits, traffic signals, paying for insurance, etc. are penalized with higher premiums.

Plus, we have to pay for uninsured and underinsured coverage.

What good are laws if no one cares enough to follow or enforce them?



Marcy Perry is a longtime Mesa resident whose family traces its Arizona origins back to territorial days.

Last edited by noisebeam; 11-04-05 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 11-04-05, 09:31 AM
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This law would discriminate. The rules, applied to all segments of the population, would have people screaming about how unfair it was.
Notice that the last sentence of the article makes it sound like the writer has validity because they've lived in the area a long time.
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Old 11-04-05, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
This law would discriminate. The rules, applied to all segments of the population, would have people screaming about how unfair it was.
Notice that the last sentence of the article makes it sound like the writer has validity because they've lived in the area a long time.
Agreed it would never fly, but its interesting to see ideas like this put forth from this particular paper.
As to the last line, its not part of the body of text, on the online version it is separated the same way it is done to identify authors of all editorials (I just edited it to make it look more like it), but you point is the same, why mention they have lived here a long time.

Al
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Old 11-04-05, 09:54 AM
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Why not subsidize public transit to the same extent as cars, so there would be feasible alternatives. Speeding through red lights could be stopped be installing automatic cameras.
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Old 11-04-05, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by AndrewP
Speeding through red lights could be stopped be installing automatic cameras.
There are some of those here, but there is a lot of public outrage against these "money makers" infringing on our "rights" with "government intrusion" (all quotes taken from recent anti-red light/speeding camera editorials)

Al

Last edited by noisebeam; 11-04-05 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 11-04-05, 10:02 AM
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You have a "right" to cross the street on foot. You only have a "privilege" to drive on it.
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Old 11-04-05, 10:05 AM
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Well, I can tell you that high school would have been a whole lot different for me and most of my classmates if we weren't allowed to drive. I grew up in a spread-out rural area with zero mass transit options. If you wanted a job that would keep you busy until after dark, you needed a car or needed to be driven to and from work. If you wanted to stay after school for extracurricular activities, you could stay there up to 45 min. and take a late bus, but for anything beyond that you needed to drive or be driven, or ride a bike. I rode my bike through most of high school, but most everyone I knew used a car to get around.
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Old 11-04-05, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by va_cyclist
I grew up in a spread-out rural area with zero mass transit options.
Same here. There is no way I would have cycled home on narrow 50mph rural roads in the winter at -10F at 7:30pm after a 2hr swim practice. We always got rides home (carpool) with parents, then when we could drive we carpooled home. My route to school was a 2mi walk to the bus, then a 40min bus ride, late bus was at 3:30, so after that to get home you needed to get a ride.

Al
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Old 11-04-05, 11:50 AM
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I have taken this position for the last decade. Very few high school age children have any need to be behind the wheel of a car. Taking 3000 pounds of metal at high speeds, and then add the desire to impress friends or throw in the weekend party, is a recipe for disaster. (This is the age group that has the highest insurance rates for good reasons) We already have the school busses in place, and often the late athletic bus is available for those who have sports practice. And the vast majority of the nation lives in urban areas, so the rural argument is not that strong. I think it is a wonderful position. And while we are at it, how about a road test every 10 years to renew your license, and every 5 after age 70. At age 42, I have driven over 750,000 miles, much of that commercially. I have seen too much poor driving, and believe we make it far too easy to get behind the wheel of car and risk too much injury and loss of life. I guess all that driving has caused me to keep off the roads as much as possible now, my 10 mile bicycle commute is 7 miles of dirt trails or very infrequently trafficked dirt roads, quieter and much safer.
Of course I am not running for political office, and don't have too worry about this position not being too popular.
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Old 11-04-05, 12:01 PM
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I ride past a high school every morning. Cars are backed up making left turns onto campus (more than any other intersection I deal with) and the kids like to take 'shortcuts' to avoid this line. Lots of 'demonstration of speed', illegal u-turns (complete with burning rubber) and actual speeding. The primary reason I leave from home early at get to work at 7:30 instead of 8 is to clear this area before the morning HS rush. I know if I leave by before 6:45a I avoid it.
Police do monitor and ticket here about once very 3mo.

Al
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Old 11-04-05, 12:04 PM
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How bout this. No one get a liscence untill they are old enough to realise that gasoline damages the atmosphere. Then when they choose to drive, they are claiming that they are voluntarily affecting nature negatively!...
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Old 11-04-05, 12:06 PM
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I want to get a few things straight before I address the issue:

I'm white.
I'm upper middle class.
My family background is such that there was no question about me graduating college, let alone graduating high school.

Oh and I'm 52.

Got it. As a teen this would have hurt me least, and hurts me not at all now.

The idea is foolish and short sighted. Those who do not graduate high school are very likely those who will need to drive. They will be the ones who are out working a job that they have to get to, even though there is no bus service. But the great newspaper writer does not seem to think this class exists.

Much of the problem with younger drivers is that they are learning to drive. Far from all. A huge percentage is because of showing off. If teens get to start to drive at 16 or 18 while still living with their parents those parents have some control and influence. If they start to drive at 21 that influence is less or gone entirely. I think that parental influence far outweighs the added maturity of a few years. Also those extra years of waiting might just add more to the desire to show off. The longer one waits to get something the more apt they are to want to show off what tehy now have.

Final kicker. Just what is the legal age to drink? 21 isn't it. Does anyone else see a problem here? Letting people legally drive and legally drink at the same age. Now I'm not saying that anywhere near a majority of new drinker/drivers will mix the two in those first few days/months. But if one in one hundred does it is a receipe for disaster.
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Old 11-04-05, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith99
I want to get a few things straight before I address the issue:

I'm white.
I'm upper middle class.
My family background is such that there was no question about me graduating college, let alone graduating high school.

Oh and I'm 52.

Got it. As a teen this would have hurt me least, and hurts me not at all now.

The idea is foolish and short sighted. Those who do not graduate high school are very likely those who will need to drive. They will be the ones who are out working a job that they have to get to, even though there is no bus service. But the great newspaper writer does not seem to think this class exists.

Much of the problem with younger drivers is that they are learning to drive. Far from all. A huge percentage is because of showing off. If teens get to start to drive at 16 or 18 while still living with their parents those parents have some control and influence. If they start to drive at 21 that influence is less or gone entirely. I think that parental influence far outweighs the added maturity of a few years. Also those extra years of waiting might just add more to the desire to show off. The longer one waits to get something the more apt they are to want to show off what tehy now have.

Final kicker. Just what is the legal age to drink? 21 isn't it. Does anyone else see a problem here? Letting people legally drive and legally drink at the same age. Now I'm not saying that anywhere near a majority of new drinker/drivers will mix the two in those first few days/months. But if one in one hundred does it is a receipe for disaster.
As to the idea being foolish for who it impacts I agree.
As to issue with age I don't and don't have enough info to know. I do know that in Germany one gets a liscense at 21 and can drink beer legaly much younger than that (is it stll 16?). I spend quite a bit of time there with people in the 17-21 age group and they all (even the 'bad' kids) took driving much more seriously. Learning and testing driving was much more rigourous too.

Al
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Old 11-04-05, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by va_cyclist
Well, I can tell you that high school would have been a whole lot different for me and most of my classmates if we weren't allowed to drive. I grew up in a spread-out rural area with zero mass transit options. If you wanted a job that would keep you busy until after dark, you needed a car or needed to be driven to and from work. If you wanted to stay after school for extracurricular activities, you could stay there up to 45 min. and take a late bus, but for anything beyond that you needed to drive or be driven, or ride a bike. I rode my bike through most of high school, but most everyone I knew used a car to get around.
Everywhere I've ever lived had "hardship" exceptions to the 16 YO limit, so they could easily include such exceptions in any new laws. If you are able to prove you need to get to work or have some other compelling reason, like having a disabled parent that needs you to drive to do the shopping or take them to doctor visits, then you can get a licence, otherwise not.

The "not until 21 if you drop out" is stupid though. Those are people that are much more likely to have some hardship reason and need to drive anyways. I'd have no problem making 16-19 year olds have "provisional" licenses with restrictions (some states already do this)-- no passengers except family members, no driving after dark unless to and from work or for valid hardship reasons, any moving violations or reportable accidents result in a graduated series of license suspensions.
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Old 11-04-05, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
There are some of those here, but there is a lot of public outrage against these "money makers" infringing on our "rights" with "government intrusion" (all quotes taken from recent anti-red light/speeding camera editorials)Al
I am a bit neurotic about cars going through red lights - people moan about bikes running red lights (which I do). I never go across without checking for traffic, but these cars just push their foot to the floor when the light turns amber. I can see that speed cameras may just be moneymakers, but red light cameras are definite safety devices.
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Old 11-04-05, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dan828
Everywhere I've ever lived had "hardship" exceptions to the 16 YO limit, so they could easily include such exceptions in any new laws. If you are able to prove you need to get to work or have some other compelling reason, like having a disabled parent that needs you to drive to do the shopping or take them to doctor visits, then you can get a licence, otherwise not.

The "not until 21 if you drop out" is stupid though. Those are people that are much more likely to have some hardship reason and need to drive anyways. I'd have no problem making 16-19 year olds have "provisional" licenses with restrictions (some states already do this)-- no passengers except family members, no driving after dark unless to and from work or for valid hardship reasons, any moving violations or reportable accidents result in a graduated series of license suspensions.
The provisional exceptions are worthwhile, as long as they are well publicised. After dark seems off to me. This time of year it is dark by 6:00. That would mean no driving home after football practice, let alone the game. Or band practice or Academic Decathalon... But putting a later time like 10:00 seems reasonable to me. After dark would also imply no driving until dawn. Since I had morning workouts in swimming that would have been a problem, since I was on the road before dawn.

I really question the wisdom of the limiting of passengers. My personal experience is that this created more problems than it solves. (Remember upper middle class). The idea is that it prevents a rowdy group. I think the result is that instead of 3 or 4 testosterone loaded teen males in one car, perhaps getting out of control, you have 3 or 4 testosterone loaded teen males in 3 or 4 cars. Where before they might push the driver to show off it would likely be quickly over. But in different cars each has to top the others. Instead of being quickly over it continues to build. Not to mention that the no passenger rule keeps girlfriends out of cars. Not that the women are always ok, but they seem to limit bad behaviour more often than they push it farther out of control.
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Old 11-04-05, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dan828

. I'd have no problem making 16-19 year olds have "provisional" licenses with restrictions (some states already do this)-- no passengers except family members, no driving after dark unless to and from work or for valid hardship reasons, any moving violations or reportable accidents result in a graduated series of license suspensions.
That would also be discrimination. Why not apply those restrictions to ALL new drivers, regardless of age?
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Old 11-04-05, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
That would also be discrimination. Why not apply those restrictions to ALL new drivers, regardless of age?
Even better, why not require that any use of a motor vehicle requires that one provide a trip justifcation report including number of passengers, route, date, time and purpose to the bureau for approval, otherwise risk hefty fines and jail time.

Al
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Old 11-04-05, 02:00 PM
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I find this a typical "solve the wrong problem" scenario. From animal control by-laws to driving, people fixate on seemingly easy solutions which both fail to address the real problem and follow a "punish everyone" solution. Arbitrary rules are a poor way to judge who is, or is not, responsible enough to drive. Instead of raising the age limit, and thus discriminating based on age, how about better driver education and testing better law enforcement and stiffer penalties for irresponsible behaviour?

Sometimes it seems people are willing to give up anything for a false sense of security, but are completely unwilling to hold individuals responsible for their own actions - in part because that means they might be held accountable too.
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Old 11-04-05, 03:36 PM
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Though graduating HS is generally better than otherwise as a credential, I can't really see how it relates to driving. Then again, I don't see any push yet for drivers' education in middle school or junior high.
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Old 11-04-05, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
Even better, why not require that any use of a motor vehicle requires that one provide a trip justifcation report including number of passengers, route, date, time and purpose to the bureau for approval, otherwise risk hefty fines and jail time.

Al
That would be a "starting down the slippery slope" kind of requirement. More people would walk and use bikes. If the roads are full of people doing stupid things on bikes, like many already do, then the requirement for travel would be extended to other forms of travel. Soon, the police would be adopting German accents, asking "May I see your papers, please?
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Old 11-04-05, 06:29 PM
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Good point from Keith99, above. Way back in the 70's, Massachusetts, along with several states, lowered the legal drinking age to 18. This turned out to be a terrible idea, as you can well-imagine. So, after a few years of this, it was raised back to 21, by due legislative process. Ah, but wait! Vermont still had the drinking age at 18.

You guessed it. On weekends the highways were packed with 18 year olds, heading to vermont to get throwing-up drunk legally. When the number of bad accidents got high enough, Vermont joined every other state, and raised the legal age of consumption back to 21. Vermont and MA state police even called the MA-VT border, "The bloody border", because of the high number of accidents that occured there. Most of these involved students from U-mass at Amherst, and other local colleges.

Some years back, a member of the MA house had an amusing idea: An additional written exam, to be administered just before a road test was taken. This exam would include basic math and physics, as related to driving a car. This idea never made it past the committee stage, alas.

Could you imagine the moaning and eye-rolls from all the Big-Hairs, if this were ever made a law? My goodness.. an eight cylinder engine has a bore of four inches, and a stroke of 3 inches. What is the displacement in cubic inches? Well, that would have kept a few low-foreheads off the road.
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Old 11-04-05, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by trackhub
Some years back, a member of the MA house had an amusing idea: An additional written exam, to be administered just before a road test was taken. This exam would include basic math and physics, as related to driving a car. This idea never made it past the committee stage, alas.

Could you imagine the moaning and eye-rolls from all the Big-Hairs, if this were ever made a law? My goodness.. an eight cylinder engine has a bore of four inches, and a stroke of 3 inches. What is the displacement in cubic inches? Well, that would have kept a few low-foreheads off the road.
Would they test on actual displacement or effective displacement? Some of those "low foreheads" might know the difference in engine capability based on the type of chamber at the top of that displacement.
After they've done the basic math and physics questions that the academic elite like to throw at society, they can go out back to the batting cage and take 10 swings at various 80 mph hardball pitches. This would eliminate the ones without the requisite hand to eye coordination required to competently operate a large moving vehicle.
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Old 11-04-05, 07:05 PM
  #24  
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you don't need a driver's license to drive. I never got a my DL until I was 21 but that didn't stop me from owning several vehicles, drove across country several times and on the job, and did for hire Ryder truck shuttle work before I was even 16, all without a DL. I think I even drove in Mexico (yikes!) and of course, a lot of drinkin and drivin.

So don't think strict driving rules for teens will stop teens from driving, just the ones that listen to authority.
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Old 11-04-05, 11:56 PM
  #25  
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During the year I spent teaching at a high school, a common staff room topic was the lack of parking for teachers. It seemed that the lot was always full of students' cars (often unregistered and uninsured). There was no parking enforcement whatsoever.

I suggested a system where students actually needed a permit to park at school. Then I suggested that the school sell the permits and also require that students have a "B" average in return for the privilige of parking their automobile at school.

The idea was rejected out of hand. They said that many kids wouldn't come to school if they couldn't drive. They said that it would be too expensive to enforce. (didn't I say "sell). They also said that students would think it unfair that teachers could park at school but students could not.

Now I teach first grade. And the most dangerous part of my 14 mile ride to my elementary school is when I pass line of cars waiting to enter the high school.
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