Ohio teen driving laws too restrictive on new drivers

October 18, 2018

A teen’s sixteenth birthday: the day where freedom seems limitless and the days of seeking rides from parents are over. This reality comes to a halt when laws prohibit new drivers from having the independence they first expect when receiving their license.


According to AAA’s driving rules and guidelines, “License holders who are 16 years old may not drive with more than one non-family passenger unless accompanied by a parent, guardian or legal custodian.” This rule was implemented on Jan. 4, 2007 and is often broken by new drivers and should be changed to accommodate teens’ needs.


Altering the law to allow 16 year olds to drive more than one person outside of their immediate family would allow for a less painless way for teens to receive rides. Even though the teen is a new driver, they should be responsible and accountable enough to drive as many people as their car accommodates.


Many high schoolers have after school activities, practices, or games that they need rides to. Students who have the ability to drive are many times put in charge of transporting the students who are without their license.


This responsibility to transport several people exceeds the limit of passengers that new drivers are told to have. Changing the rule would give drivers permission to drive the appropriate number of people to get to their destination safely.


When a driver turns 17, they are able to drive as many people as their car can carry. This year between being able to drive one and as many passengers as a teen’s car can hold doesn’t make a considerable difference and therefore should be reconsidered.


During recent studies, Top Driver concluded that 57 percent of distracted auto crashes are due to talking with passengers. Being distracted by passengers is an unavoidable issue while driving, no matter if there are one or four passengers.


16 year olds should be mature enough to know when they have reached their limit with passengers. If they feel that they will be disturbed while driving more than two people, they should be able to reach that maximum. However, laws pertaining to adolescents take away their capability to choose the number of passengers they feel they can handle.


Some people may say that teens are already more likely to be involved in an accident because they are inexperienced with driving. Therefore, they believe teens shouldn’t be able to have more than one passenger until they are 17. But one extra year won’t make much of a difference.


When a teen turns 16, they should be able to have the responsibility of driving as many people as they choose. They have passed a driving test that makes them eligible and able to drive other passengers, and it is only 16-year-old that this law applies to. If you’re a new driver at 17, you are free to drive as many people as you want.


Other restrictive rules, such as curfews, make it so that teens are even more likely to break the rules in order to feel as if they are rebelling. If laws were more lenient and less confining, teens wouldn’t feel the need to constantly violate regulation.


Overall, the law is not very well known throughout new drivers because of the little attention it receives. By changing it to allow teens to accommodate more drivers, it would alleviate the stress of man and help out working parents.

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