December 27, 2006


Bill sets tougher teen driving rules (Michael Levenson and Raja Mishra, December 27, 2006, Boston Globe)

Key state lawmakers reached an agreement yesterday on legislation intended to prevent crashes involving teen drivers by dramatically boosting training requirements and stiffening the penalties for reckless behavior behind the wheel. [...]

"This is a tough, no-nonsense bill," said Senator Steven A. Baddour , a Methuen Democrat and Senate chairman of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Transportation. "We strike an appropriate balance between education and penalties."

Under current law, a teenager can get a learner's permit at 16, then a junior operator's license at 16 1/2, and a full license at 18.

Under the bill, a driver with a learner's permit would have to spend at least 40 hours driving with a parent or other adult with a driver's license in the car, up from the current 12 hours, before the teen could get a junior operator's license. If the teenager passes an advanced driver's education course that teaches defensive driving techniques, that requirement would be cut to 30 hours. The requirement would be on the honor system; a parent or adult would sign a form certifying the number of hours.

Teenagers would also have to spend 12 hours behind the wheel in their regular driver's education courses, up from the current six hours, lawmakers said.

The bill also adds significant penalties for teens who violate the law.

Driving can wait until you're an adult: 21 or married.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 27, 2006 7:29 AM

This is nothing to do with teens being bad drivers and it has everything to do with your pathetic "cars r teh suxxor!!!!1!" hobby horse.

You don't want anyone driving before the age of 21 and you don't want anyone driving after the age of 55. You know that the more people you legally prevent from driving the more people will be forced to take your precious trains. If you thought you could get away with it you'd push for having only married, landowning males between the ages of 33 and 34 being able to drive.

Do you honestly think you're fooling anyone?

Posted by: Bryan at December 27, 2006 8:36 AM

If they can't practice they won't be any better at 21 than they are at 16. Two years with a licensed driver at least 21 years of age or older might be a better fit.

Posted by: Bartman at December 27, 2006 9:14 AM

And I mean ONLY one passenger (the 21 year old or older). Two passengers or more and the kid rides in the back seat, in the middle, on the hump.

Posted by: Bartman at December 27, 2006 9:18 AM

Obviously never lived on a farm or ranch.

Posted by: andy at December 27, 2006 10:01 AM

You aren't truly liberated until your 16 year starts driving and thus relieves you from running errands, picking up younger siblings, etc. It's wonderful.

Give them a car, a credit card for gas, pay for insurance and everything else with the proviso that any traffic infractions, drinking or drugs, etc. will result severe vehicular deprivation, i.e., no car belonging to you will ever be made available to them again till kingdom come. Makes them responsible for their own fate.

Worked great for us. We always knew our kids were in a well maintained car with good tires, etc. and since tooling around in a little red car had much more status than drinking, snorting or speeding, we had nary a problem.

Lots of other parents whose kids were frequently in trouble were mad at us, but that was their problem.

Posted by: erp at December 27, 2006 10:28 AM

Who will deliver our pizzas!?

Posted by: John Resnick at December 27, 2006 1:35 PM

Pizzas will be delivered by train. (Actually, bicycles and rollerblades and the like could do just as well.)

Posted by: Just John at December 27, 2006 2:23 PM

@erp - I'd just add that if you give them a car it should be a total beater; otherwise, just offer to match them. That way they can drive to work in order to pay for a car they aren't so embarrassed by.

Posted by: Mike Beversluis at December 27, 2006 2:55 PM

Sorry, kids in school shouldn't work, except during the summer and even then, it should be a job that leaves a lot of free time to bum around at the beach, take long bike rides and do things kids always have always done.

Adulthood and responsibilities will come soon enough and last a very long time -- at least until they can retire and resume their second childhood which BTW doesn't require getting a job either.

Is this a great life or what!

Posted by: erp at December 27, 2006 4:55 PM

Pizza delivery jobs pay too much in tips for kids to have them.

Posted by: oj at December 27, 2006 10:19 PM


You obviously haven't if you think drivers need permits on their own property.

Posted by: oj at December 27, 2006 10:30 PM


They don't need practice, they need to grow up.

Posted by: oj at December 27, 2006 10:31 PM

oj: LOL. They need practice too.

Posted by: Bartman at December 28, 2006 9:42 AM