Delaying teen driving could save lives

It has been said that really good moms and dads work hard to be excellent parents — not their children’s best friends. In other words, they do what is best for the youngsters, even if that does not please them.

Those who make our laws should adopt the same approach.

A bill pending in the Ohio General Assembly would lengthen the amount of time teenagers must drive under learners’ permits. Currently, permits can be obtained at age 15 1/2. Probationary licenses can come in just six months, at 16.

Under the legislative proposal, probationary licenses could not be obtained until a year after learners’ permits are issued. That would keep some teens off the road and would lengthen the amount of time others must drive under certain safety restrictions.

Young drivers account for a disproportionate number of accidents. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that the crash rate for 16-year-olds is much greater than even that for those who are 17.

Legislators should approve the bill. It won’t be popular among some teens — but it could save some of their lives.


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