So much for taking your girl to the movies. States are imposing severe restrictions on teen drivers. The New York Times reports:
Fifteen states and the District of Columbia now prohibit teenagers from driving with another teenager, and all but seven states forbid them from driving with more than one. In South Carolina, teenagers cannot drive after 6 p.m. in winter (8 p.m. in summer), and in Idaho, they are banned from sundown to sunup.
Here in New Jersey, which has long had the nation’s highest licensing age, 17, lawmakers are pushing further, requiring teenage drivers to attach a red decal to their license plates to make it easier for the police to enforce a curfew and passenger restrictions, and proposing a law to require even parents to complete a driver education course.
The laws have raised complaints that the state is outsourcing parenting to the police — not to mention that passenger limits effectively outlaw the teenage double date.
But safety campaigners point to studies showing that the laws have significantly reduced traffic deaths and call them a natural extension for a generation that has grown up protected by sport utility strollers and bicycle helmet laws.
In New York, teens under 18 cannot have more than one non-family passenger under the age of 21.
I’m not a huge fan of helicoptering teens, but learning how to safely drive can take a long time. I was a horrendous teen driver. It was a combination of inexperience and vision problems. Learning how to drive stick shift helped a lot, but it took me a long time before I was 100 percent comfortable behind the wheel.
But these laws are not so much aimed at learning to drive safely as they are about curbing irresponsibility. Maturity levels vary among teenagers.
There are far fewer young people driving compared to 30 years ago. In 2010, almost a third of 19-year-olds in the U.S. didn’t have driver licenses. What’s going on? Experts blame Internet communication, young people choosing to live in cities and take mass transit and the cost of car ownership.
But perhaps the legal driving restrictions on teenagers combined with helicopter parenting have played a role?
Links of the Day:
– There was a time we thought Major League Soccer was coming to Rochester. Fans packed Frontier Field to see the Rhinos. We were “Soccer Town USA.” The Rhinos used an MLS franchise as a carrot to lure state funding for a new stadium.
The Rhinos’ finances quickly fell apart after the stadium on Oak St. opened. The MLS dream went bye-bye.
Now New York City is close to securing a $300 million stadium in Queens for an MLS franchise. The goal is to have a rival for the Red Bulls, who play in New Jersey. Yahoo! reports:
MLS has made no secret of its desire to have its 20th franchise be a second team in New York. The league has received countless offers from cities across the United States and Canada but has remained focused on New York. Commissioner Don Garber explained to Goal.com why having a second team in the city would be important for the league.
I realize the Rochester market is not New York City. But assuming the opportunity was there some years ago, we missed it.
– My goodness, tickets to see Abby Wambach and Team USA at Sahlen’s Stadium are expensive, ranging from $37.10 to $204.10.
– What DA candidate runs on a platform of easing up on DWI offenders? Albany County has an interesting race.