Blogs > Fresh Ink

Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Teens aren't the only reckless drivers

Some new laws that make it harder for teens to get into car accidents took effect Monday. I welcome them.
One law reduces the number of non-family member passengers from two to one for drivers under 18 who haven't passed a driver's ed course. Studies have shown the more kids in the car, the greater the chance for an accident. There's just too much goofing around.
The other law requires that a teen with a learner's permit wait six months before applying for a license. Previously, there was no waiting period.
One more law increases from 20 hours to 50 hours the time a teen with a learner's permit is supposed to drive with supervision. Fifteen of the 50 hours are supposed to be after sunset. To be honest, I'm not too optimistic about parents being honest about this one.
But the more supervised practice and the fewer distractions for teenage drivers, the better.
I can assure you I didn't feel this way when I was 17 and chomping on the bit to get my driver's license. But I've since discovered I'm not invulnerable.
One thing I remember Coach Mead teaching me in driver's ed at Voorheesville High School was to keep your eyes on the road. The distractions back then seem so simple -- the AM radio dial, a friend in the car.
Today, it's frightening how people who ought to know better are so cavalier about driving while making phone calls and checking and sending message -- as if the danger applies only to other people.
Laws that apply to driving while distracted are difficult to enforce. You'd think the desire to get to your destination in one piece would be incentive enough. The new laws apply to teens, but youngsters don't have a lock on dumb decisions.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home