• Feb 22nd 2006 at 7:00PM
  • 38
These are not the words a teenager living in the sunny state of Florida wants to hear, but they could be assaulting his or her young ear drums if a bill introduced in the Florida State Legislature is passed. HB 975 would require the state’s minimum driving age to be raised from 16 to 17 years old. Rep. Irv Slosberg (D-Boca Raton) introduced the bill and states the extra year would give teens more time to gain maturity needed for safe driving.
While Inside Line does point out that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety performed a study that shows 16-year-olds were twice as likely wreck their rides as people 18 to 19 years old, this bill still has the stench of political grandstanding hanging overhead. Florida, however, already has a track record for imposing restrictive measures on young drivers, including one that restricts how late at night a driver under 18 can be out on the road.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago


      The average 16 yeard old is twice as likely to get into crashes as the average 17 or 18 year old.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "16-year-olds were twice as likely to get into crashes as people in the 18-to-19-year-old group."

      Anyone else see a flaw in that analysis?
      • 9 Years Ago
      I live in Italy. Here, to drive, you need to be 18 years old.
      And what's interesting is that they did the same insurance reports based studies, finding that the 18 years old drivers were twice as likely to get involved into an accident than those who were 20 years old.
      My point: it's not the young age which makes people crash, it's the newly found excitement of having a car and driving on your own.
      And I think we can all talk by personal experience here, right?
      So I guess it's pointless to raise the driving age from 16 to 17.
      • 9 Years Ago
      While I don't disagree with the idea of raising the minimum age, I think it's ridiculous to cite maturity as a factor. Maturity does not equate to age. You can be 35 years old and have the maturity of a 12 year old. Hell, you could be 85 years old and have the maturity level of a 6 year old.

      But if reckless driving is an issue, tell that to the old lady in an old Buick who gave me the finger as she went around me because I was driving at the speed limit (I'm one month away from 17).
      • 9 Years Ago
      Another vote for training..., be it parental or official. The testing should be more difficult as well, both vision and ability.

      Until that takes place, 1st year drivers will always be far more likely to be at fault in accidents, regardless of what age they are...

      The fact that a lawmaker can get public traction because of a personal experience is a sad display of a feminized (read: overly emotional) America. My father is dying of lung cancer, should you give me any more crediblity than may evidence/case warrants in discussing tobacco legislation simply because of this fact? To many, this would be all that was necessary to not engage me in debate on this topic. Weak...

      • 9 Years Ago
      The Sunshine State suffers from having many of the craziest, and most absent minded drivers in the Union. Traffic jams are probably the worst in Miami after LA.

      • 9 Years Ago
      Im 18, but I agree with Florida, I think the more educated they are before they get behind the wheel by theirself, they might actually drive better. But no one is a perfect driver.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I'm thinking 18! Then they can be held liable for their stupidity. I do think they should be able to start training at 16-17 though, but not be allowed to drive on their own. They make so many restrictions on teenage drivers; to most teenagers, rules are made to be broken. Then when they kill a family of 10 (damn #9) because they were being stupid, the judicial system has to boggle wether to charge as an adult or minor. I say 18, I think they'll be better drivers when mommy and daddy can't bail them out of their troubles.
      • 9 Years Ago
      im 17 in new york and got my license last summer....i think new york law has it just about right....17 to get your license if you take drivers ed and 18 if you don't.
      • 9 Years Ago
      What is the rental age? 25 years old.
      People should have provisional driving permits from 15-25 and from 75-100+. In the short term, before a huge mass of baby boomers become 100+, any old person 100+ should be driven around, not because they might be inept, but because we should reward people who have far exceeded the expect lifespan.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I belive it will be the same.why? you ask. simple. the reason many 16 year olds have a accident is because their are still learning to control the vehicle and dont have much expirience behind the wheel.Raising the age will only change the accident statistic from age 16 to 17.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I agree with #13.

      It is all about maturity & drivers education.

      I think the general public will agree that European kids are more mature then US kids. (more hours in school, more conservative, ...) Still, in Europe kids only get their drivers license at 18. You can start training a few months early.

      Statistics from Europe will show you that most accidents with new drivers do occur with the younger drivers aged 18-20. It improves later. That's why any car insurance under age 25 is really expensive. So whatever they say about the difference between 16 - 17. It is more 16-20. 18 is quite a bit more mature then 16. Even in Europe.

      Drivers education both theory & practical should be mandatory. Don't depend on the regular school to do it. There is no budget or time. Driving school at your own time.

      I've done two European license tests and one American. The European tests take quite a bit of education & preparation. You get a 30min parking lot test to show all common starting, stopping, various parking, u-turn & maneuvering skills. (this goes btw for any license: car, motorcycle, heavy trailer, truck, bus) Not satisfactory? You do not get a road test. Try again in a few weeks. Pass the on-site test, then you get a 30min road test. You're permitted two comments. One red flag though and you're out.

      Compare this to a 5 min DOT parking lot drive in the US. Start the car. Drive 30 meters. Turn. Stop the car. Park it shopping-mall style (not inline or curbside). Use the parking brake. Done.

      I am not saying US drivers education & testing should be the same as in Europe, as it is very expensive; and certainly is a financial issue for many kids / families. But maybe that's why European 18yr olds are more serious about driving correct & safe.

      Not a day goes by or you see a group of 16 yr olds packed in a little car. Driving aggressive. Not paying attention to the road. Radio so loud you can hear it in your car (with closed windows) over your radio. Smoking. Talking on the cellphone. You know having fun. Not surprising before too long you have a series of accidents in your street (just moved) and a serious accident on the corner with multiple fatalities.

      You can't of course generalize it. The rotten apples always spoil the basket.

      Still I will say that no matter what the age 16 - 17 - 18 they should have mandatory education & serious exams so they can prove they are safe on the road and can master a vehicle. It is a serious safety issue for the kids themselves and other road users.

      As for older people. - I'm from Florida - I could not agree more. Above 65: eye exam and a little road test to see how they're moving around.

      But we should not forget aggressive drivers ...

      Nor the general rule to keep right except to pass!!!
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