Raising the Driving Age

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jrose
Raising the Driving Age

 

jrose

[url=http://thetyee.ca/Views/2007/08/13/DrivingAge/?utm_source=mondayheadline... the Driving Age, from the Tyee[/url]

Before I start venting about the graduated liscencing system (though it's more from personal experience, than a general distaste to the system itself) I was curious what everybody else thought on this issue.

Albireo

Well, I do find it bizarre that you can drive at 16 but can't vote until 18 or drink until 19 (or at least those are the ages in Ontario). If anything, I'd rather have 16-year-olds voting and drinking than driving.

clersal

I'm not sure that we are trying to infantalize our children.

I certainly remember when I was a teenager I was untouchable. It was neve going to happen to me. It didn't but probably that was pure luck.

My son told me some very scary stories about when he drove and it sends shivers up my spine.

I'm not sure that raising the driving age, unless we raise it to about 50! We should I think make things more difficult for a young person to get a license and as parents let them pay for their insurance and car with no help from us.

jrose

quote:


We should I think make things more difficult for a young person to get a license and as parents let them pay for their insurance and car with no help from us.


I agree, but on one hand I do wish it were EASIER to get a license. I'm 24, and drove for a number of years, but as a student who was away at school, without access to a car on a regular basis, it is very difficult for me. When it comes to the graduated licensing system you need to stick to a somewhat unyeilding schedule in order to get your license, or else you're back at the beginning and forced to do it all over again. It's a great system for that reason, makes it difficult for drivers and ensures they have more practice time, but it can be frustrating at the same time.

[ 14 August 2007: Message edited by: jrose ]

jrose

It's often seemed like more of a money-grabbing system to me, more than one that ensures more educated, experienced drivers.

Polly B Polly B's picture

I can't see any reason that it should be so much harder for our kids to get a license than it was for us. Maybe there are some stats somewhere that support the delay, I'm not sure. Speaking purely from personal experience though, my teens are more responsible and more aware than we ever were at that age.

Sure there are kids who are going to be invincible and who are going to push the envelope. There always will be. There's adults too who shouldn't be allowed behind the wheel.

I would like to see mandatory professional driving instruction offered free in high school. That way each child would get a chance to learn how to drive properly, without being taught all their parents bad habits. And they would have to prove that they had learned something before they were granted a license. It's the time behind the wheel and the quality of the education that counts, not the number of days you have to drive with an L on your back window or the amount of hoops you have to jump through.

jrose

I just found there wasn't enough time:

Turn 16, get your G1. Can't afford driving school, so relying on your parent's expertise means you have to wait a full year until you can go for your G2. (Instead of the eight months if you take driving school)

Go for your G2 right away, pass, then you're lucky or talented! But not everyone does.

Wait another year before you are able to go for your full G license.

Well, that’s three years right there, if you’re absolutely 100% on schedule. This is granted that you can afford the hundreds of dollars it costs, and that your driving skills are good enough to pass the test. But if you factor leaving town to go away to school, downright not having a car, failing a test or two along the way, I just found that five years wasn't nearly enough, so now I'm forced to repay all the fees again to start from scratch with my written test.

I don’t know enough about the old system to qualify it as being any more or less difficult than the one that exists now, I just wish there was a tad more leeway on the time schedule, taking into consideration that this is the prime age for students to go away to school, or be in financial straits that they can’t afford a car, or driving lessons in between every test.

arborman

I'd prefer to just see the testing requirements hugely increased, and the penalties for poor driving increased as well. Retest every 5 years as well (with a rigorous retest). Probably 30% of current license holders shouldn't be on the roads, and that should be reflected in the testing and enforcement.

And if you ever hurt somebody as a result of poor driving, you never drive again.

Fidel

We've got millions of miles roads and highways in North America and bureaucracies to prop up a car industry monopoly. I think we could save billions of dollars and clean up the environment a helluva lot if the bozos in Ottawa and Warshington invested in massive-MASSIVE levels of public transportation. And local cliques would have to find some other way to fleece municipalities for shoddy road repairs. I think I almost dropped a transmission in that last pot hole the size of a moon crater.

clersal

Agreed Fidel but everyone says we are dreaming and it is impossible.
I guess they think it is more fun polluting!

Where I am, not the lake I am on but a lot of others there is a growing problem of blue-green algae infestation. A human cause, and now I read they are trying to blame it on the Beaver!

Next step make the beavers extinct. Pour a lot of money into that.

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Polly Brandybuck:
[b]I can't see any reason that it should be so much harder for our kids to get a license than it was for us. Maybe there are some stats somewhere that support the delay, I'm not sure. [/b]

Concur with you Polly, and the accident stats do show that younger drivers are involved in more car accidents than older drivers.

However, workplace injury stats also show that young people, new on the job, are injured on the job are injured at a much higher rate than than older employees, should young people be barred from working until thet are older too?

Frankly, I believe the graduated driving scheme is racially biased, as opposed to age biased.

arborman

quote:


Originally posted by remind:
[b]
However, workplace injury stats also show that young people, new on the job, are injured on the job are injured at a much higher rate than than older employees, should young people be barred from working until thet are older too?[/b]

Young people should certainly not be working in dangerous environments. At 17 I was hired to drive a moving truck that had failing brakes and malfunctioning steering. I should not have been driving a 5 ton truck at 17, and had I been older I would not have driven an unsafe truck at all.

remind remind's picture

According to the work place stats on accidents, every place is dangerous to the young, even Mac jobs.

500_Apples

quote:


Originally posted by remind:
[b]
Frankly, I believe the graduated driving scheme is racially biased, as opposed to age biased.[/b]

Why do you believe that?

TemporalHominid TemporalHominid's picture

quote:


Originally posted by remind:
[b]

Frankly, I believe the graduated driving scheme is racially biased, as opposed to age biased.[/b]


what is the basis for this claim?

Agent 204 Agent 204's picture

I could see it being [i]class[/i] biased (and since class tends to overlap with race, it would consequently be somewhat race biased as well) since people whose parents are sufficiently well-off to afford a car have more chance to practice and thus a better chance of getting their license sooner.

So this may be a stroke against it. The question arises, what if it [i]is[/i] race or class biased, but produces a significant improvement in road safety and the environment?

Sven Sven's picture

Kids are naпve when it comes to understanding the dangers and responsibilities of driving. Until they’ve driven for a while, they are likely not to have ever been in a “close call” (which has curious way of heightening one’s awareness of how dangerous vehicles are), they think they are immortal, and many are simply immature when it comes to doing a task that requires significant responsibility. As a result, they get into a lot of accidents that more experienced drivers would have avoided, as statistics overwhelmingly document (about 4,000 15-20 year drivers die every year and the leading cause of death in that age group is auto accidents).

A person has to start gaining driving experience at [b][i]some[/b][/i] point in time, whether it’s 16 or 25.

But, youths’ sense of immortality (and the immaturity of many) generally diminishes with age. So, increasing the minimum driving age from 16 to 17 (or 18 or higher?) would certainly result in many fewer annual fatalities.

So, the question is this: As a society, is it worth avoiding tens of thousand accidents (and a couple of thousand fatalities) per year by moving the minimum driving age up a year or two?

Agent 204 Agent 204's picture

I'd be inclined to say yes. One suggestion I read somewhere (maybe here) was that you could drink at 16 but not be able to drive till you were 18. The idea would be that by the time you could drive you'd have gotten your worst excesses with booze out of the way, and thus be less likely to drive when really hammered.

On the other hand, there is another drawback for raising the age and/or the requirements to drive- namely that it would disproportionately hurt rural youth (since you can't just hop on a bus if you live in a place like Dauphin or Meaford). In spite of this, though, I'd still tend to favour it.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by clersal:
[b]Agreed Fidel but everyone says we are dreaming and it is impossible.
I guess they think it is more fun polluting.[/b]

The car is independence for young people, I suppose. I wonder where they learned that though. I remember being a teenager and learning to drive. Not a care in the world.

The Air is Getting Slippery 2:31 "snort-snoink"

Summer

quote:


Originally posted by remind:
[b]

Concur with you Polly, and the accident stats do show that younger drivers are involved in more car accidents than older drivers.

However, workplace injury stats also show that young people, new on the job, are injured on the job are injured at a much higher rate than than older employees, should young people be barred from working until thet are older too?

Frankly, I believe the graduated driving scheme is racially biased, as opposed to age biased.[/b]


Interesting. I wonder whether the higher accident rates are due to age or simply inexperience from being new to the job. I.e. - is a 25 year old in her first year operating heavy machinery or what have you less likely to be injured than a 16 year old in the first year?

Same thing with driving. There's a clear correlation between age and inexperience here. I had a small accident about 3 months after getting my license. It involved me, a windy road and a concrete barrier. I didn't slow down enough and I scraped the car against the barrier. I don't think that was due my age - I think it was the fact that I misjudged how fast I could go in the turn because I wasn't used to driving in the rain.

The advantage to learning at 16 instead of 18 or 19 is that the teenager is probably living at home at that age and parents likely have a greater deal of control on the use of the car. Also, as Jrose has already pointed out, in graduated licensing systems (BC, Ontario, others) most people don't get a full license until about 2 years after they get their learners/G1(or whatever it's called in Ontario - I always get the G's mixed up)

I'd be interested to hear why you believe the graduated licensing system is racially biased as well, Remind.

remind remind's picture

My perceptions that it could be racist as opposed to ageist based upon attending 2 separate conferences that were on implimenting graduated licenses in BC.

The stats presented for accidents showed correlations with place of origin, age and then gender.

The correlations were drawn on place of origin, as those being from a country where adults had very little access to driving. Though they had drivers licenses in Canada, they showed higher accident rates, as did their children. What was presented was that they believed the stats showed that children of immigrants were worse drivers than those of Canadian born and raised children. As were the parents.

It was suggested that Canadian children picked up driving skills from watching their parents drive and being present in vehicles to absorb the information about driving and vehicle control, while those from countries where there was no access to driving did not have this "pre-experience" to assist in driving skills.

From this perspective it was suggested that laddered driver's license would help those from 3rd world countries and their children to become better drivers and less of a threat to others on the road.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by remind:
[b]It was suggested that Canadian children picked up driving skills from watching their parents drive ...[/b]

In that case, I should be dead by now. Dad was an awful driver. I'd have to remind him we were driving on the soft shoulder of the highway and spitting stones at other cars in the middle of one of his lectures on the price of gold or what he was going to do when he retired. It was generally and usually a white nuckle experience for all but him until swerving back into an arbitrary lane of traffic or another.

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]In that case, I should be dead by now. Dad was an awful driver...It was generally and usually a white nuckle experience for all but him until swerving back into an arbitrary lane of traffic or another.[/b]

Yes, well I did not buy it either, hence my position and had asked the presenters if that was the case then driving training should be paid for by the ICBC or the government then, instead of penalzing all potential drivers.

Based upon those premises if that were the case there would never be any good drivers from generation to generation. Response back was if immigrants wanted their licenses anyway, they had to pay for driving training as there would be no way they could pass the driver's test without drivers education, so there is no point in the government funding it.

I walked out.

Sven Sven's picture

The data are a bit dated [url=http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/ncsa/809-100.pdf](see figure 10 on page 37)[/url] but experience on the road does not account for the consistently higher blood alcohol content the lower the age of the driver. And alcohol in the blood is probably the most significant factor in causing accidents.

Like I said in an earlier post above, raising the minimum age for a license will only delay the time a person can start getting experience driving. But, immaturity and the sense of immortality common among young drivers would be addressed by having the minimum age limit raised.

So, again, I think the question remains: Is it acceptable to have tens of thousands of accidents and a couple of thousand fatalities that could be avoided had the minimum driver’s age been raised?

Personally, I wouldn't change the minimum age. Accidents and deaths are part of living in a complex society.

[ 14 August 2007: Message edited by: Sven ]

hatman

There's no need for age limits when you have a method of testing to weed out those who don't belong. If a 12 year old can pass a driving test, why shouldn't we let him or her? If maturity is an issue, perhaps that should be apart of the testing methods.

Fidel

Ya! And we can lower that age limit for voting too. My young nephews in Ottawa understand Canadian politics the same or better than most 50 and 60 and 70 year-olds.

Agent 204 Agent 204's picture

quote:


Originally posted by remind:
[QB]Based upon those premises if that were the case there would never be any good drivers from generation to generation.

I don't see it as an all-or-nothing question. I'd guess that the [i]probability[/i] of someone being a good driver is higher if their parents are.

I think that a better solution to any age, class, or racial bias would be to push ahead with it anyway, but implement better public transit so that not being able to get a license quickly is less of a disadvantage than it is now. Of course this is easier said than done, but since there are other, and far more important, reasons for pursuing better transit anyway, that's what we should be pushing for, not a system that makes it easier for bad drivers to get and stay on the road.

Your point about young workers is interesting, but I think there's a difference here. Young workers are primarily only a danger to themselves and their coworkers, whereas young drivers can be dangerous to anybody.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

I'm rather disturbed by the on-going push to infantilize our teens. Why are they any less capable than we were? Why do we need to keep them dependent?

edited for sp. 

Rexdale_Punjabi Rexdale_Punjabi's picture

it also racially based bcuz the younger part of canada's population esp in larger cities are more POC and also yea because of class and not being able to afford the driving school n stuff like that.