Most of you who read my blog are at least 25, possibly a lot older. If you are near my age, or older, you may have forgotten what I have experienced. If you're approaching the age of the rite-of-passage for the American Teen, you may find yourself in a sorry situation, and there is nothing you can do. But I, for one, am appalled that the Federal Govt. Is going to try to stick its nose into STATE RIGHTS, again. This time, they try again, to restrict state rights, and stick it to the American Teen.
I refer to driving permits, and licensing.
The states aren't uniform into their permit laws, I grant you that. Some states, you can start driving farm vehicles (Family farm) early, perhaps as early as 10, more like 13. You can start learning to drive a car or truck when you have your permit, and that can be as early as 14 in some states. It's the dream of EVERY TEEN to get his/her license at age 16, to become a MOBILE teen. To be able to go on MOTORIZED WHEELS to the mall, to the post office, to a dance, out on a date. Teens feel that they have reached adulthood, and are ready for the challenges of the road.
It's unfortunate that you can't determine who's going to be a smart driver, a safe driver, or a moron. Who's going to be reckless, or wreck 'em? They have no way of knowing who's going to be killed in an accident three weeks after they get their license, or never have an accident.
South Carolina recently made it that if you drop out of school, you cannot get a license until you are 18. That's kind of crappy, but it makes sense.
But now the Fed wants to step in. They want to interfere in state rights. They want you learn...but won't let you learn on your own. They want Graduated Licenses, no licenses until age 18 (That's kind of dumb, since all you have is provisional licenses) Some Congressmen are suggestion No permits or licenses until 18. One, stupidly if you ask me, has suggested NO LICENSES UNTIL 25.
They are trying to kill tradition, one of the last "rites-of-passage" for the American Teen, soon to be adult (Although some may remain childish forever)
This is wrong. Do you remember how you felt when you first got behind the wheel? Do you remember that first drive without a parent in the car? Do you remember that first date when you didn't have to have your parents drive you, or with you?
If you're going to drop out, then fine -- no license until you're 18, or it would be yanked. Stay in school, get good grades. Don't drive like a fool. Don't get overwhelmed with the Power of the Automobile, or the Roominess of a van. Or the "Coolness" of that fancy 4WD pickup with the pinstripes.
If you don't remember how you felt, ask your kids how they'd feel if their chance to pass to adulthood is delayed for 2 or more years.
You can't protect the kids forever. But to deny them the one thing they'll look forward to in high school, for many an inspiration to get good grades--to deny them that is a breach of trust, and betrayal of everything that YOU once had.
Computers, xboxes, Ipods, Cellphones... They will either get it, or they will hound you until forever. But take away that License, and you will be doing the country a great disservice...especially if the military conscription starts again. Not all kids are reckless, or fools. Sure there are some. And they will cause difficulty. But don't punish all kids for the actions of a few.
WRITE TO YOUR CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS. Protect the kid's "Last chance" to feel grown-up before the trauma of growing up begins. That's what we must do.
We MUST protect the American Teen's Rite of Passage -- their right to learn to drive before 18. Make the permit age 15, uniform, fine. But don't remove the age 16 license. It's wrong, a blunder, and a step in the wrong direction: AS I SEE IT!