Getting a driver’s license used to be a rite-of-passage for American teens. It was a pass to freedom and the open road. Today things are a little different, especially in CT.
In 1997 CT started using graduated driver’s licensing which increases levels of autonomy as a young driver gains experience. Things got tougher in 2004 and we could see ever more restrictions in the future. why? Because the restrictions are working. Or so it seems.
The statistics show amazing drops in teen driver accidents and fatalities. What the folks in charge don’t seem to get is that this could all be smoke-and-mirrors! Of course those number go down if you decrease the hours young drivers can be on the road and limit their ability to travel together. It is simple math. Less time on the road means less opportunity to be in accidents which means more lives saved! Huzzah!
Except this isn’t something to celebrate. These restrictions make people feel good because the numbers are down but they aren’t making safer drivers. They are just moving the “inexperienced driver” label from 16-year-olds to those 18-20. And now they are looking to expand the restrictions to that age range because of it. If at 18 are legally responsible for yourself, can vote, get drafted if male and smokes you should be able to drive after passing the proper tests. Hell, you should be able to drink but that is another argument.
These are fake safety numbers. If no one ever gets on a plane then no one will ever die in a plane crash. 100% safety rating! See how dumb that sounds? These programs have an effect nationally as well. These days just over half of teens get their license before they turn 18. That number used to 2/3s. We have effectively confined today’s teens to our homes.
How about rather than restricting young drivers we actually teach them how to be better, safer drivers? I know my drivers ed class was a breeze and could have used more instruction. We should be focusing on the real scourge of the roadways anyway… Old people.