Register Viewpoint - Teen driving laws will likely save lives

One of the most sensible pieces of legislation, signed into effect Jan. 4 and enforceable as of Friday, will hopefully save the live
Don Lee
May 24, 2010

 

One of the most sensible pieces of legislation, signed into effect Jan. 4 and enforceable as of Friday, will hopefully save the lives of many young people .

Ohio's Graduated Driver License law places certain limits on the operation of motor vehicles by drivers younger than 18.

Probationary license holders under the age of 17 will not be permitted to operate a vehicle with more than one passanger who is not a family member unless they are with a parent, guardian or legal custodian. Drivers between 17- 18 years old will be restricted from driving between the hours of 1-5 a.m. unless with a parent, guardian or legal custodian, with some exceptions.

In addition, drivers under the age of 17 are prohibited from driving between midnight and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent, guardian or legal custodian, and if a drive runder the age of 17 is convicted of one moving violation during the first six months of having a license, that person must be accompanied by a parent or guardian whenever they drive for the next six-month period.

We're positive many young drivers will despise this new law, but hopefully they will never really appreciate what it will do for them.

A simple fact is teens act differently when they get into a group. When in small numbers, these young people most often show more respect toward others, make better decisions and simply use more common sense. In a group, for whatever reason, many young people try to impress others with actions that can only hurt themselves or others, whether it is physically or mentally. Even some of the best-behaved children make poor decisions when surrounded by their peers.

Many times reporters are some of the first people at the scene of an accident. We've seen too often what poor decisions behind the wheel can produce. There is nothing worse for a journalist than having to walk up to or call a grieving mother or father to ask them to share with the community what a great person their son/daughter was. And you can bet law enforcement, which are the first at the scene and have to make the initial call to parents to tell them their child is dead, will enforce this law.

Simply put, if just one life is saved because of this law, the law itself is worth every ounce of energy and thought put into it.