Watch out The Government is BORED Again: Federal Mandated Driving age

Posted: March 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

The government is bored. If they are bored, it is because they don’t have enough to do, or they have too many people doing the same job. What would help the economy right now? I am sure cutting some of the over inflated, non-productive jobs held by bored and useless government employees.

I think we the people of the US, need to become the parents of the government (as we should be) and at this point, since the government is so darn bored,.. the result they are getting into things they should not be getting into. We should be giving them chores, I think they seriously need to clean THEIR room (ie the government/the white house).

Why do I think they are bored? Look at what they are (not) doing. They keep coming up with the most ridiculous laws/rules/bills they can dream up.

Here is the latest “winner” Federally Mandated Driver Age, why? Because some bored government folk are finding car crashes are the #1 killer of teens in the US. What are the other death statistics? Sure if 1 teen dies a year, due to an auto accident, that can be interpreted as the #1 killer of teens. Hey you know what I think bed posts are the number one cause for stubbed toes, should be ban those?

I did not get my license until I was 22, because I was working, I walked to work or found ways to get to and from. But, would I think the federal government should mandate driving age? No. The states do that now, and it does not need to be expanded to the federal government. The only benefit would surely translate to more government jobs, ie more bored government employees.

They have a name for it too.. “Standup” (Safe Teen & Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act).

The proposed bill calls for the government to set nationwide standards for licensing teen drivers. Under the proposed federal guidelines, age 16 is the earliest a learner’s permit would be issued, and an unrestricted license couldn’t be issued until age 18

Even then, an unrestricted license can be delayed if the driver has any issues with driving under the influence of alcohol, misrepresenting his or her age, speeding, driving recklessly or not wearing a seatbelt. STANDUP’s guidelines also make it illegal for teens to drive at night, have more than one non-family passenger under the age of 21 or talk or text on a cell phone while driving.

Note that.. age 21 is included. Think about that for a moment, how many people do you know who were say 30 and could be mistaken for a teenage, and how many teens have you seen who could be mistaken for an adult? Now think more on this age limit, gee what are all those teen mommies & daddies going to do? Oh right Obama & friends are all for abortions. The reality is some states a 15, 16 or 17-year-old can get married, and likely will have kids. Are they not permitted to drive their children to the doctor, or drive to the grocery, or drive to work? Ok they did back it up with “family member” but how do you prove that any more? This is my cousin, my step sister, this is my uncle.. but how do you prove it? Or is the cop supposed to just accept what you tell them? Again see where this is rolling?

Of course they are pulling the “seat-belt” card, see we passed this, see it saved lived.. see we forced you all.. err we saved you.

No surprise, there will be penalties…

Under the proposed rules, each state will have a three-year window to bring their driving policies in line with the federal standards or face losing up to 10 percent of their federal highway funding.

To keep those federal funds, states will need to establish a standard three-stage licensing process for teens; each stage consisting of supervised driving and progressively fewer driving restrictions.

This surely is fall out from Obama’s push for Obamacare.. ie more gov’t control/power. The more the beast is fed, the more it wants, the more it simply will take.. and the taking has begun! Or at least the grabbing…

(Boldin) said he also believes if the federal government is allowed any kind of precedent to establish driving license regulations, Washington will use that precedent to expand its authority to other areas in the future.

“I think a view of history over the last hundred years where we see a greater and greater centralization of power in the United States. … This is not a positive trend. So we want to say no to all types of over reach from Washington, D.C.”

Like all things, it is transfer.. ok if a 16-year-old is not driving they are less likely to die in an auto-accident.. but …

Mike Males is a sociologist who studied the effects of a similar teen driving license process California enacted in the late 1990s. He said number of fatalities among 16-year-olds dropped simply because they weren’t driving. The number of fatalities among 18-19-year-olds, however, actually increased even more than the decrease among 16-year-olds.

“It turns out that its worse to have inexperienced 18-year-olds on the road than inexperienced 16-year-olds,” Males said.

So what happens? Why would there be more deaths at an older age? At age 16, most children are under the care of their parents. They have limits, and someone to directly answer to. At 18, kids are now considered adults, some on their own.. that freedom does not have restriction, responsibility, and also has an element of invulnerability. Again this is simply another shortsighted over-reach by the government, who “knows” better than the rest of us, including the states themselves.

Suddenly I am flashing to a South Park episode… the one where “you are not safe, even from your self”. How much more can/should/could the government shield us from danger, from heck ourselves? And should they?? NO!

Let me go back to the #1 cause of death for teens.. looking at the CDC ..Over the course of 2 decades (Since 1985) the teen death rate has decreased, by looks like about 20% for males (females a fraction, but still decreased death rate)



A CDC PDF File offers an article for cause of death for ages 12-19 between 1999-2006. They state they” comprise a small fraction of total deaths each year in the US”.  They also note the majority of teen deaths are due to external causes (accidents, homicide, suicide), and so they are preventable.  They note that 1/3 of teen deaths are motor vehicle related.

Note:  The 1/3 of teen deaths does include that age 18.. which they are wanting to move the mandatory driving age up to. According to the CDC information the death rate increased with the age of the  teen.

So I wanted to find more info… This information reflects more on under age 18 drivers. They note the fatal crashes have declined 38% from 2004 to 2007. Yes.. DECLINED! Looking at the 11k+ auto-related deaths, less than 37% of those were drivers age 16-17. The rest were passengers, people on bicycles, pedestrians or other.

CDC M&M Weekly Report:  here are a few bits, visit the link for more..

  •  (1). Crash risk is highest during the first years of independent driving
  •  (2). To characterize trends in fatal crashes involving drivers aged 16 or 17 years, CDC analyzed data from the Fatality Analysis Report System (FARS) for 2004–2008. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that, during 2004–2008, a total of 9,644 passenger vehicle drivers aged 16 or 17 years were involved in fatal crashes.
  • During that period, the annual population-based rate for drivers aged 16 or 17 years involved in fatal crashes declined 38%, from 27.1 per 100,000 population in 2004 to 16.7 in 2008.
  •  A fatal crash was defined as one in which at least one vehicle occupant or nonoccupant (e.g., bicyclist or pedestrian) involved in the crash died within 30 days of the crash. Analyses were restricted to drivers of passenger vehicles (i.e., automobiles, sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and vans).
  •  Of the 10,048 drivers aged 16 or 17 years involved in fatal crashes, 9,644 (96%) drove passenger vehicles. U.S. census population estimates for persons aged 16 or 17 years and persons aged ≥18 years were used to calculate rates of fatal crash involvement.
  • During 2004–2008, a total of 9,644 drivers aged 16 or 17 years were involved in 9,494 fatal crashes. A total of 4,705 (50%) crashes involved one vehicle; 3,976 (42%) involved two vehicles; and 813 (8%) involved three or more vehicles. A total of 8,274 (87%) crashes resulted in one fatality, 986 (10%) resulted in two fatalities, and 234 (3%) resulted in three or more fatalities.
  • Of the 11,019 persons who died in these crashes, 4,071 (37%) were drivers aged 16 or 17 years; 3,428 (31%) were passengers of those drivers; 1,987 (18%) were drivers of other vehicles (aged ≥18 years, aged <16 years, and of unknown age); and 805 (7.3%) were passengers of those other drivers. Another 728 (6.7%) persons were other road users (e.g., bicyclists or pedestrians).
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Comments
  1. Katie says:

    You make an excellent point about the power of parental control and driving ages. If my child gets his/her license at 16, I – the parent – still have the power to decide if my child is driving well enough to earn the privilege to drive the family car. I am much better able to determine the quality of driving – over the long term – of my child, than a one-shot test.

    Once they turn 18, as a parent, I loose that ability.

    So, if their first driving experience is at 18, the parent has no ability to yank driving privileges of their adult child….

    My driving history – driving a boat since I was old enough to see over the bow of the boat, sitting on my dad or granddad’s knee… So, probably 5 or 6….

    Driving a car – age 10. Drove the familiy car up and down the lane of the farm (hilly half mile dirt and gravel road). Had enough practice at that, that when I took the driving portion of driver’s ed, my teacher told me to go out on the road after one drive around the parking lot (other students took weeks to do that).

    Driver’s license – 16. It made life more convenient for my parents. They would lend me their car and I could drive to work. Worked better for all of us, and how else do kids learn that minimum wage jobs are not a life-time career goal???

    Accidents – (knock on wood) – none. Tickets – one.

    But the real point is this – the feds have no business telling states what driving age to allow. But, I know that that point won’t stop them. A good example is drinking age. This is the state’s right to choose. The state knows the needs of their people, much better than the feds. But, then the feds threatened to reduce the fed bucks for roads, and the states caved. Yes, using tax dollars to bully states into submission.

    So, now they are doing it for driving age. Is anyone going to ever wake up? And, when are we going to let our children become adults? They can serve our country, and possibly die doing so, at age 18. They can vote at 18. They can’t drink until 21. Now, they want driving to be 18? And “strangers in vehicle” limits until 21? Egad. The gov doesn’t want parents to have the right to parent, but it gleefully does so, itself.

    But, then again, they want parents to cover their adult children on their healthcare policy until age 26…. Holy crap.

    • gypsy says:

      Exactly Katie.. the government does not want people to parent anymore.. every action they are making proves that point. They are expanding their grasp into the cradle! … then you look at abortion, they are actually extending that grasp into the womb. There are no boundaries when it comes to government!

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