Technological advancement in the world, today, cannot be denied. With the coming and advancement of technology physical movement of people is more of a basic need than ever before. The movement could be from a short distance or even from Continent to Continent making driving vehicles an important subject that this paper seeks to discuss. It may be evaluated from the economic view which would lead to the movement of people and goods and hence building the economy. There is, however, the simple sense of children going to school or even members of the families going to work. In addition, accidents that take place on the day to day basis make it a social issue. It is from this social point of view that this paper analyzes driving age in the United States of America and addresses the issues to the Congress, which has the value of integrity and is built on the principles of leadership and the service of the people of United States of America
This paper looks at the legal driving age in the US as set by the senate and then evaluates the debate on why the legal driving age should be changed to 18 years. It is this paper's strong view that the legislation currently has gaps that should be considered and the driving age changed to 18 years of age. The driving age regulation is a preserve of the senate, and it is set by legislationof individual States (Latta).
In New York State, for example, the minimum age for one to be a driver is 18 years. However, there are exceptions, which would include conditions of hardships and provisional license that are important for the United States Congress to evaluate. The first condition prescribed for allowing the teenagers who are below 18 years would the Condition of hardship. This is where teenager below the age of 18 can drive themselves for reasons that probably, their parents are sick or elderly. In these cases, the law allows them to drive. The only relevant requirement is that they must have completed the driving tests and the regulation that are required. The other exception is when a driver is given a provisional license. In this case, a teenager is given the provisional permission as they keep on driving as they wait to complete the required course. The Congress of the United states must be ready to comprehend these issues and to ensure that, in the spirit of making sure proper legislation are made to ensure that the driving age is changed to 18 (Office of Illinois Secretary of State). These exceptions are replicated across most states in the US.
The law is not clear this regard. It is noteworthy that there is an efficient transport system in the USA. Besides, people who use the public transport system and those who can afford chauffeurs insist that those who drive must be above the age of 18. It is from that point that the United States Congress should make sure that the law is standardized. There is no urgency of issuing licenses to persons below 18 years. The laws in many states in USA require that drivers should be above 18 years. This is for the undoubted reason that the society feels that the person at the age of 18 is responsible, calm and can be careful when it comes to driving and causing accidents. This paper urges the Congress and the Senate to consider these questions as they make proper and more stringent legislation.
In the deliberation of this subject, the United States Congress should look at the idea that many of the teenagers bellow the age of 18 is reckless. They are said to be careless in the way they drive, they are not keen to look at the signs and the rules of driving, and as a result, they cause many car wreckage and sometimes cause injuries. Statistics in the US show that more drivers below the age of 18 gets involved in an accident, as opposed to older drivers. (Wagener)
This paper, therefore, seeks to advocate for the age of driving to be changed to 18 without any exceptions. The US Congress to look at the statistics on accidents caused by reckless driving and would only hope that this would urge them to change the driving age to be 18. (Washington)
The United States Congress should also consider the arguments that most teenagers at the age of 16 and 17 abuse drugs. Drugs can cause the young drivers to be reckless. This is because drugs impair the judgment of the driver. It is in statistical data that more young people than the old go to parties that involve excessive drinking. This makes them spontaneous and reckless. Consequently, they are most likely to cause accidents cause disturbance on the road. (Wagener)
Teenagers below 18 are also very spontaneous; they do not consider their action's consequences beforehand. It is this paper's assertion that most teenagers below the age of 18 do not care what they do or the potential consequences. The United States Congress should, therefore, create legislation and advocate in the line of strict liability that teenagers under 18 should be barred from driving and hence changing the age of driving to 18.
There is also a point propounded that those who are below 18 are to be guided by their parents, or any responsible adult when they are in the car and that should be the practice. They should practice patience to ensure that teenagers below the age of 18 mature bit by bit. The United States Congress should ensure that it is only those who are able to hand the vehicle and the roads are on the roads.
The United States Congress should also look at the psychological influence of driving. Statistically, teenagers below the age of 18 are not capable of handling the consequences, of the tragedy of accidents on the roads. They are affected in the event that they are to face accidents. The tragedy on our roads may cause tragedy in the lives of the young drivers. The debate and the move towards making the driving age be 18 years are not only one side. There are those who feel that there are those who are very skeptical about the changing of the driving age to 18 years. The United States Congress should look at the matter as a whole. As much as there are justifications to the exceptions, the whole picture is looked at and analyzed in totality.
There are arguments that the age of a driver depends on the circumstances. Some teenagers below 18 feel that they have to drive as they come from the families where they have to drive to support the family. It may be a point to be considered by the United States Congress, as they are part of the government, which must always make this consideration when making out legislation. However, it is never the less important to look at the situation wholesomely and to ensure that the greater evil as opposed to the smaller evil is discerned. In this regard, therefore, this paper would urge the United States. Congress to consider the bigger picture even if it is in the name of utility
The question of responsibility also comes in this discussion. Would we say that the youths who are below the age of 18 are responsible enough to drive? It should be noted that even the law in general frowns upon giving recognition to the minor. They are said to have no capacity in law. Perhaps one may want to depend on the concept of evolving capacities. Responsibility by the youth is a matter to be taken seriously by the United States Congress as it intends to protect the very teenagers and not discrimination.
There are those who feel skeptical, they state a point that denying a 17 year old the right to drive and to give it to a teenager who is 18 years old is but semantics. It would be important to ascertain that even the universal age of maturity is 18 years. Consequently, it is a universal proclamation in many of other countries. Therefore, it would not make it very wrong to set standards and regulations that are uniform.
The other point of concern that is worth the attention of the US Congress other than the safety issues is the question of public decency and public policy. Teenagers at the age of 18 years old are spontaneous and would like to experiment on most things. It may lead to very uncalled for behavior from the police, which then would lead to violence on the roads and the violation of public policy. It is clear that there are always traffic offenders, yet many are not even teenagers below the age of 18. It will be vital for the US Congress use statistical data to come up with a conclusion that will encompass the whole situation.
Comparatively in many of the European countries including the United Kingdom the whole question of banning those who are below the age of 18 from driving is a concern both from the general population from a social point of view to the government in terms of legislation. It should ensure that the law is clear and categorical that that the age of driving should be made to 18 .The general policy enables the congress and the senate to be able to administer and regulate driving and the road safety in the county.
The argument on the driving age is not only taking the political wing but the social and economic directions as well. The social structures and strata in the society place demands at different capacities on who needs to do which job. It is questionable if driving is a job that is considered to be an exceptional case. Arguably, it is preconceived that the minimum employment age in the United States and other parts of the world is set at 18 year and above. Therefore, itis questionable if this policy can be disregarded in favor of drivers who are under 18. Even though there are exceptional cases that had been noted earlier in this paper concerning g the minimum driving age, it has to be noted that a number of factors need to be considered while on the verge to review the laws on driving.
The proponents of this argument believe that at below 18 years ofage, a driver may not be able to withstand the pressures on the roads. Accidents and their consequences on life is highly considered. From the psychological point of view, it is reasoned that young people are likely to develop bad memories and dreams from fateful experiences. Besides, under 18s are known to be irresponsible and prone to road carnage. Also, it is argued that violation of rules on the roads is more likely to occur from younger driver than the older ones.
The antagonists in this debate also have their side of story well presented. They believe that the driving age should be an issue left to be determined by circumstance rather than age factor. Furthermore, they argue that denying a 17 year old and opportunity to drive is very barbaric and against the needs for economic growth and development.
In conclusion, this paper, look at the whole debate as valid. Even the commentators who advocate for those who are below the age of eighteen specifically from the age of 14, have valid points as the other side of the coin would advocate that they find time to develop, mature and become good drivers. This argument is often expanded to state that they can learn faster, but then I would look at the whole picture and state the driving age should be changed to 18.
Latta, Nigel. Teenagers Drive Crazy. Newyork: Harper Collins publishers, 2010.
Mathew, Johnson. "Teen Driving." Lammer, peter. Teen Driving in the USA. Newyork: Cambrige, 2009. 150-157.
Office of Illinois Secretary of State. Teens should not be driving. Springfield: Office of Illinois Secretary of State, 2014.
Simpson, Herbert M. Teen Driving vol 2. Newyork: London, 2009.
Wagener, Alexander C. Alcohol, Young Drivers and Traffic Accidents, Minimmum Age Driving. London: Oxford Publishers, 2004.
Washington, Author. Teen Driving, Statistics and facts. Washinton Dc: Department of State, 2010.