The current law sets the driving age at sixteen years. The assumption is that at attaining the age of sixteen, persons have the mental capacity to undertake driving. It is assumed that the same persons would conduct themselves diligently and observe the traffic rules.
However, this assumption is being challenged given the statistics and cases that occur in the roads on a day to day basis. There are reasons to believe that the age limit should be raised from the statutory sixteen years to eighteen years. It is believed that the two year difference would at least account for a difference in the behavior of drivers of the road. It is the postulation of this paper that an increase in the driving age would replace the current state of irresponsibility and inconsideration with a sane and responsible approach on the roads.
Definition and Contextualization
For starters, it needs to be appreciated that most state laws have capped the driving age at sixteen years. It is the assumption of the law that one who has attained the age of sixteen has attained the age of majority and should be considered an adult. As such, this person has a contractual capacity. The law empowers such a person with several duties and freedoms. It is in that context, that the driving age has been set. However, with the current statistics and state of affairs, the legal assumption as to the contractual capacity has come to be tested. In fact, a section of scholars and policymakers have advanced the view that an increase in the driving age from sixteen to eighteen would reign sanity on the roads and impact positively on the traffic in the nation. It has been asserted that it is the younger drivers who have a colossally poor approach to the concept of responsible road use that occasion the accidents and road traffic mishaps. On that context, it has been proposed and has often been argued passionately, that the age be raised so as to allow lesser of the younger drivers on the road.
This research seeks to investigate this claim. However, the research hypothesis is on the negative. It is the postulation of the paper that the raising of driving age from sixteen to eighteen does would not impact positively on the roads. This research, therefore, assumed the negative by the fact that it does not support the increase in the age of driving. This paper is of the view that the accidents and other traffic mishaps that occur on the roads are independent of the age of the drivers.
Research Interest and Research Questions
I, therefore, elect to research this area so as to address the critical questions that come up with the driving age requirements. On that context, the research shall seek to answer some of the following questions. One, does the driver’s age play a factor in the number of accidents on the road? Second, does the age of sixteen represent age of majority, should one be assumed an adult at that age? What is the position in other jurisdictions where the age of majority and consequently the driving age of set at eighteen, consider Common Law jurisdiction? How will increasing the age from sixteen years to eighteen years impact on the national economy, is the same sustainable?
It must be appreciated from the onset that increasing the driving age would not impact positively and is, therefore, a misinformed and misplaced policy.
Bealy, Frank and Richard Chapman. Elements in Political Science. London: Edinburgh University Press, 2009.
Groager, John. Understanding Driving: Applying Cognitive Psychology to a Complex Everyday Task. New York: Routledge, 2013.
Rice, Stephen and Michael White. Race, Ethnicity, and Policing: New and Essential Readings. New York: NYU Press, 2009.