New driving laws, teens not happy
There isn’t a single new driver in the state of Michigan under 18 that hasn’t heard about the new laws restricting drivers with an intermediate license from driving between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and with no more than one unrelated passenger. Government officials claim that it was passed in an effort to reduce crashes, but many people are apprehensive about how effective the restrictions will actually be. The previous law allowed drivers to be out until midnight, a much more reasonable curfew for sixteen and seventeen year olds. Many sporting events and other activities often come close if not go past the ten o clock curfew and in many ways you could argue that this might only cause more problems for teens rushing to get off the roads. Supporters of the law say that teen drivers don’t have enough experience, but the fact of the matter is teen drivers have no more experience at any other time of day or night than they do past ten o’ clock.
It’s not an issue of darkness so the two hour difference in new law versus the old law does not make much of a change. Curfew should be the decision of a child’s parents, not the state government. As far as the restriction on unrelated passengers goes, it should also be a decision of the household. While it is true that more passengers can cause more distractions, every teen and their friends are different and should have their own rules set by their own parents. When asked about the new law, specifically the ten o’ clock curfew, Soph. Andrew Gikas says that “This law isn’t realistic. Every kid has their own curfew with their own parents that they think is best. The government should trust that.” Regarding the unrelated passenger restriction, Jr. Emily Pearce says “Kids can make decisions for themselves how many people they can travel safely with in their car. If they make the wrong decision, they’ll pay the consequences, but for the most part people know what they are capable of.” For now, the law remains, having taken full effect on March 30th. Only time will tell if the restrictions will be effective in keeping teens safer on the roads, so for now all we can do is accept it and adjust our lives to the new way the government thinks we should drive.