Raising the Legal Driving Age in Massachusetts

I remember being 16 and I couldn’t wait to get my Massachusetts driver’s license at 16 and a half years old. Now Massachusetts officials are proposing to raise the legal age for a driver’s license.
It seems everytime I watch the news on tv at night there’s a new report about a teenager crashing and wrecking their car. Especially on the car crashes on the Lowell Connector. I’m sure it’s not just because they were only 16 or 17 but the fact that they are young and inexperienced.

When I was 16 I was learning to drive. Back and forth, up and down the driveway of my friend Don’s driveway it basically how we learned to drive in Massachusetts. I went from jumping my bike over trash barrels and a swimming pool to driving legally on the road with other drivers.

I know I wasn’t mature enough to drive on my own. Luckily I hadn’t been able to buy my own car until 18 and I was too nervous to drive recklessly in my mother’s minivan.

Parents should continue to stress the fact that they need to be careful on the road. Not only for themselves but also the other people driving on the road. Raising the legal driving age in Massachusetts might be a good idea.

By the way Fox25 news just did an interview with a guy on TV and he said the vote was delayed once again and that he DOUBTS that Raising the Legal Driving Age in Massachusetts to 17 or 17 and a half will not happen. We’ll see.

95 thoughts on “Raising the Legal Driving Age in Massachusetts

  1. My daughter, the youngest of three, just turned 18. If the driving age had been raised to 18, two of the three would have been in college before really learning to drive. While raising the minimum age might sound good on the surface, it would deprive many young drivers the chance for supervised practice, or even practice of any sort. Since none of my kids had a car for at least the first two years in college, they would have had only a few months of driving experience, followed by years of only ocasional access to a car. I don’t think this is an effective way to create safer drivers

  2. I’m acyually doing a report of this in school and I don’t agree with the law of driving being raised because I’m 16 now and I know in a year and half nothing is going to change from now, it’s not about age it’s about smarts and capability. If parents don’t agree with their kids driving at the age of sixteen then they should just not allowed their kids to get it their license until thye feel that they are ready and also it is the parents that are putting keys of cars into thier hands if they feel they are not capable of driving why hand over the keys to a car. It shoul be up to the driving school to educate teens about safe driving and allow kids to practice driving instead of duing book work all the time. If the legislature wants to change ayhting well I have some ideas; all teens to have more driving time in school, less book work,more driving time, and enfore and educate kids about safe driving

  3. Joanne made a great point. I am a parent of a 16 year old, who will soon seek his permit. In all probability, it will be either my car, or his mom’s, that he asks to borrow. If we wish him not to drive, would could simply say “no”.

    However, I believe one change might benefit those, whom as Joanne believes, aren’t as smart and capable as she is. Why don’t we leave the age requirement at 16 1/2, but require the presence and permission of a licensed parent until age 17 1/2.

  4. Too many problems with that like what if parents are working, or not alive. That’s why kids cant drive after certain times and only with another licensed person in car.
    I know what you’re saying though. Responsibility starts in the home not with laws.
    My brother smashed up my mother’s car after only having his license for a few months too. Only his underage friends were in the car.

  5. Please be careful, kristyn. And yes I agree that it shouldn’t change. It needs to be taught better that driving can be dangerous.

  6. I’m 18 years old and I got my license shortly after my 16th birthday. When I was 16 I felt the way Joanne feels, but in all actuality, changes do occur between 16 and 18. You may not notice it in yourself so much, but you do notice in other people, especially boys. My birthday is in November, so I got my license earlier than most of my peers. All of us “older folk” thought we were so cool because we had our license, this is not the case anymore. We all basically are just more concerned with getting in the car and driving to our destination. It’s not new and exciting anymore.

    I agree, however, that the age should not be raised. Part of the high school experience for most is getting a job. It’s so hard for teenagers to have jobs without at least a drivers license. Even if the teen doesn’t have a job, most at least have some sort of after school activity.

    Either way, big changes do occur between 16 and 18, but raising the age won’t help much simply because it’s too much of a burden. Big changes would have to be made.

  7. Ken, I understand parents work, and some are dead. However, the registry has night hours as well. Also, I don’t know of any 16 year old that doesn’t have a legal guardian. Poor excuse my friend.

    I’m not for raising the age, but giving the parents more flexibility. As Kristen puts it, some kids are not as mature as others. Those who are not, should NOT be allowed to get there permits at age 16!

    On a side note, I didn’t get my license until one month before my 18th birthday. I took the bus when I needed to get somewhere. Oh, god forbid young people should have to wait for the bus in the cold. I took a bus, train, and trolley every day to get to college at Northeastern University. I walked the bus route for 4 miles on the way to work. If the bus came by, I got on it. Otherwise, I walked the entire 4 miles.

    There are a million reasons why we should and shouldn’t raise the age. Most of them are for selfish reasons. The bottom line: Kids, who are considered by their parents to be immature, should not be behind the wheel of a car at 16. Just stop for a moment and look at the statistics for drivers of that age. It’s very clear.

    One more point. It would make my life so much easier if my kid got his license at 16 1/2. However, it’s not about what’s easier. It’s about what’s right!

  8. Steven, in the city that I live in, we don’t have buses, trains, and or a trolley. It’s amazing we even have taxis!

  9. Kristyn,

    You’re making my point. You (and I don’t mean you specifically) don’t have a license because you were mature enough to handle the responsibility that came with it. You got a license because it made your life, or your parent’s lives, much easier. Why don’t we drop the age, in the city you live in, to 15? Does every 16 year old living in your city drive a car?

    It’s about maturity and not necessity. Necessity these days is another word for convenience.

  10. I do not have my permit and I am not 16. I completely disagree with the idea of raising the driving age. This is not completely because I want to be able to drive soon, but just think about it. They are going to make us wait another year to try and prevent more inexperienced teen accidents. Do you seriously think the solution to this is raising the age? No, of course not. What you will get though, is more kids in each car, kids that are not supposed to drive, driving. If they do this, people will probably drive anyways. One year does not make you more mature. Kids are kids and yes we like to fool around. But don’t you all remember when you were a kid and you were going to turn 16, how would you have felt if they raised the age and you were the cut off? Believe me, this is not going to help solve ANYTHING!

  11. My son will be 15 this June, so when first faced with this question, I immediately was all for raising the driving age. However, I started thinking about it and decided to use this issue as my project for my Psychology course. After weighing the pros and cons, my response completely changed. Do I really want my son to get his license so shortly before he graduates high school, becomes a legal adult, and heads off into “the real world” with basically no supervision? It’s basically saying “You are now free to live your life as you wish, and hey, here is your license too”. I feel that by keeping the age as it is, with the large restrictions and guidelines already in place, it gives them more time to gain experience and parents maintain more control until they are actually “ready” to go where they want, when they want. I feel that it is an important milestone in a teen’s life.

  12. I think it’s just as important, if not more so, to look at creating a “maximum driving age”. There are many older drivers that just shouldn’t be on the road and are as much or more of a danger than younger drivers.

  13. Well I think that the legal driving age should stay at 16. The younger teenagers need the practice so that when they can get out on the road by themselves they will be a wonderful driver! We should keep the legal driving age the same!

  14. Im doing a persuasive essay in school about the driving age saying that I don’t think we need to change the age. If they do change it to 18 or even 17 1/2 I wont get my license untill im out of high school. My birthday is in June, i’ll be turning 16 this year, and my school always holds graution before my birthday so I will graduate when im 17, meaning I will only have my permit. All of my friends already have their permits and some even their licese and I would hate to be the only senior riding the bus to school.

    I like the whole idea of having your parents sign a permission slip to let you get your license, becasue they know you and know how responsible you are, when the officer that goes with you doesn’t.

    Also changing the age wont do anything you are just moving the age bracket for accidents in teenagers up. Accidents come with lack of experience not age. I think they should increase the driving hours with your parents.

  15. The driving age should not be raised. Its as simple as that, you
    are taking the driving age away from the majority of teens only because a few fatal crashes happen. They should take away teen’s liscenes after the first offense of speeding or driving with achocol in the car.

  16. I believe that the driving age should not be changed simply for the reason that if you dont take drivers ed and you wait until your 21 yrs of age there is going to be more drunk driving accidents. And if you move the legal drinking age to higher than 21 people r just going to drink more illegaly. Basically if you wanna add up all the odds and ends at the rate that massachuesetts is going we’re gonna have to wait until we’re lik 30 to get all the rights and options as citizens of the us which is probably the biggest bs ive ever heard.

  17. i think raising the driving age isn’t going to solve anything. if im 17 1/2 when i get my license it would have been the same if i got it at 16 1/2 a year doesn’t make you more mature. I will be a senior when i get my license then be off to college for 4 years and only come home for a few months to drive. they shouldnt care so much about the book part of drivers ed and focus a lot more on the driving portion of driver’s ed. raise the driver’s ed hours but dont change the age it doesn’t solve anything. i have a job now and i play sports and its difficult most of the time for my parents to drive me and pick me up from where i go and it would make it easier if i could drive. older people get in accidents too they shouldn’t blame most of the accidents on young people. anyone is capable of getting into an accident. raising the age solves nothing.

  18. Changing the driving age is not going to be effective.
    An issue that I see is the income for poorer families. You look at some family situations and sometimes the child is bringing in lots of contributions to the family income, due to their jobs.
    Another problem with jobs is there will be less dilivery men and women, which means less sales for resterants, componies, and so forth, there for bringing down income, and leading to bankruptcy. In this case, we are making our anit-communistic america share more traites of communism, where is the democrocy?
    Also, once you change the age, if, and when it fails, good luck trying to change it back. Our previous government had a set age for a reason, and if we go and change it your just teaching children to procrastinate.
    That’s what this whole ordeal is about, procrastination.
    Elderly drive, when half of them can’t see, or have medical alments that inable them to contribute to daily life, yet, they manage to drive. Not only so, but teaching a young mind is easier than an older one.
    Think about the drinking age differnace from the U.S compaired to Europe, kids here abuse it, where as in Europe it’s not as abused, as it is here. That’s a reason why also, kids abuse alchohal because they can’t have it, whose to say they can’t with driving? History repeats it’s self, and if you can’t see your mistake with raising the drinking age, then I don’t feel all too safe under this government we live under.

    So please, please, think about the future, learn from the past and in the words of The Beatles – Let it Be.

  19. I own a driving school in Tyngsboro, MA. I have in my 5 years of teaching seen many kids walk through the doors of the classes I have taught. I do not agree with raising the license age for teenage drivers, but I do agree that some changes need to be made. For Example, let our young drivers get their permit at 15 1/2 rather than 16, make them have 12 months of driving experience before they get their license, increase the number of driving hours required before they get their license. The problem is not in a drivers age but a drivers lack of experience.

    I must say that reading some of the comments was enlightening as an educator, but also that some were not with understanding of the real problem. That problem is inexperience. I must say that there are some teenagers at 18 would not be mature enough to get a license, but there are many more at 16 that are plenty responsible. You can not punish a whole segment of society for the sins of a few.

    Allow law enforcement to enforce the Junior Operators Law and the passenger restriction. One question I ask evry student that I teach, “When do you learn to drive?” Amazed at the answer – When you get your license and are out on the road by yourself. When you are in driver education or driving with your parents on your permit you are simply practicing, and practice as much as you can.

    As driving instructors there is only so much that can be taught to a student driver in the 6 hours currently required by law. That time is primarily spent working on the tasks required to get a license. The job of the parent (who by the way signs an affidavit that they have provided 12 hours of additional driving instruction) in order for their teen driver to get a license has a shared responsibility in the training of their young drivers to be sure that their child is infact responsible and properly trained.

    Just my comments.

  20. I am supposed to get my permit in 2 months. If they change the driving age, not only will you have many upset teenagers that have been waiting their whole life for this experience, but you will have many upset parents that are going to have to drive the teenagers around for another two years. Also, i have brothers and sisters. I have a job right now and so does my brother and my sister. If the driving age had changed two years ago, my mom would be driving us all to work plus any other activities that we are involved in daily. This whole idea of changing the driving age is rediculous and im sure many parents will speak out if this does happen.

  21. Also changing the driving age might be a good idea if there was a really big maturity difference between 16 and 17 1/2 year olds. But this is not the case. If you put a 17 1/2 year old in a car for the first time, they are just as likely to get into an accident as a person who is 16 who is getting into a car for the first time. All this is doing is getting rid of the learning period we all need to learn to drive before we go out into the real world and are driving every day.

  22. Billy Joe,

    It is unfortunate as I had said that the bad actions of a few should effect the masses. What I would suggest that you and every other reader of these messages do if you are against the raising of the age for licensing is that you along with your parents get involved. Email your State Representatives the follwoing is a link where all the email addresses can be found http://www.mass.gov/legis/memmenuh.htm and also email the members of the state senate their listings can be found at
    http://www.mass.gov/legis/memmenus.htm
    Let them know of your concerns tell your friends to email also. You even though are not of voting age should let them know that when you become voting age will not forget how they voted on such an important issue to you.

  23. 16 year olds wreck because they didn’t have any experience at driving.

    If you change the age to 18 – none of the 18 year olds will have any experience and it will be the same concept.

    All this is doing is making it harder on the Teens, and even the families that need the support from the $$$ that the teens get from their jobs.

  24. I dont think the driving age sould be canged because getting your license makes you more independent and you dont have to have your parents drive you everywhere. It deff. helps to have your kids being able to help you out and drive places.

  25. it should not be raised cuz i wanna drive already god dammit stupid pplz we are responsible enough ok? so F*** OFF!!!! LET US DRIVE ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! T.T BYE!!!!!!!

    ~Melly~

  26. I agree Somebody.

    Melly, the school I went to used to put a wrecked car in the front of the school every year and saw this is what happens when you drink and drive or drive wrecklessly.

    Do you think that’s a good approach?

  27. I am not able to drive yet, I am only 15 but right now I do a lot of stuff, like sports, and other extracurricular activities, and I am hoping to get a job soon. Right now I have a lot of trouble finding rides from place to place and I can’t wait til I get my liscense becuase it will be so much more convenient for everybody, my parents, brother who usually gives me rides, and of course me. Why does it have to change, its inexperience of the few drivers who get into accidents that coudl really happen to anybody.

  28. Melly: I’m sure you will be one of those drivers that will most certainly experience some sort of ROAD RAGE!!
    As for raising the driving age, why doesn’t legislature get tougher on punishment for speeding; driving under the influence; wreckless endangerment; etc. They slap people on the wrists for these things, for the most part, and then wonder why there’s no motivation to drive safely!!!??? Someone dies after being hit by a drunk driver, only to find out that the drunk driver has 14 past offenses!! HELLO! And I agree with an age limit for elders. I can’t tell you how many times I encountered a near miss that involves an elderly person who obviously is totally oblivious to other cars on the road!! I would hope when I’m old, I will still feel very strongly about not getting behind the wheel of a car and endangering others.
    Finally, I agree that parents are the best teachers a teen can have. It starts with us! WE all set the example when we have our kids in the car and they see how we drive.

  29. i do not think that the driving age should be raised becuase we will always haveta be living off of our parents and askin for rides places. i think the best part of highschool is getting your lisence. im only 15 but i cant wait til i turn 16 becuase i wont havetra be asking my dad for rides to my girlfriends house or to my friends house. i dont think that anything will change becuase there are alot of 17 and 18 yr olds dieing to, the same amount as 16 yr olds

  30. I dont think the driving age should be raised either. I am 15 and will be getting my permit in 4 months, it they seriously change the driving age I will be getting my permit as a Junior and I’m old for my grade so all my friends wont have their permits until way after I get my license. Which will just cause pressure on myself having to driving around my senior friends who dont have a license. I am also involved in sports, 3 per school year which means I am always busy and always needing rides to my school at many different hours that I cant rely on my parents and brother to take me there to be on time. Also I have a job for the summer and if the driving age is raised I will have to add more pressure on my parents to take me there not only for this summer but many summers to come which isn’t fair. It is my job and it should be my responsibility, having my license I can take that responsibility for myself. I am a mature 15 year old and I need my license for my high school years.

  31. I think this is terrible many of you said it depends on the kids. I agree there are upper classman right now what i would not even get in the car with. But my parents and i know i am reponsible. And like every other parent should do is judge there kids see if there ready. I also strongly believe that freinds are a cause of a lot of accidents if you have people in the car with you your not as aware. I dont have my permit or anything yet. My parents let me practice in the cemitary near me. And when they talk to me wile i am driveing i dont drive as well. I think maby there should be a law passed that just plain says u cant have anyone in the car with you until your say 18. Kids need to get around its a fact were growing up. Get use to it. i know for a fact i wont be walking to work or begging my parents. If this law it passed it wont go over easy!

  32. Ken: “I agree Somebody.

    Melly, the school I went to used to put a wrecked car in the front of the school every year and saw this is what happens when you drink and drive or drive wrecklessly.

    Do you think that’s a good approach?”

    Ken, my highschool does that too, they havn’t this year but, last year they took a car from a really bad accident that a couple of students from my school were in, and I think one of them actually died in the accident. They had us all sit in the blechers and they put the car on the football field and reenacted the crash, they even had the fire and police department come at a certain time, because that’s what really happed. I do think that is a good idea, it lets people see what happens if you drive irresponsibly. Also, this year in every history class a counselor came in and showed a move made about a couple kids from my school who died in a car crash. It was all the news reports and all of their friends talking about what happened and how they miss their friends and how much it hurts them. I think this is a good idea too, just because it shows that you could die in a car crash and you’d be hurting your friends because of the way you drive or the way someone else drives. Those kids wern’t speeding or drinking, they were killed BY a drunk driver. But, it still shows what could happen if you get behind the wheel drunk.

  33. I do not feel that its necessary for the driving age law to change at all. there should be exceptions to this. parents should sign something for their children to get their liscnese at the age of 16. if they dont want their children getting it, then they shouldnt bother with trying to change how other families think. and alot of families need drivers for emergencies. i know my family does. how will i get to work? how will i get to school? how will i bring my sick grandparents to the hospital? how will i deal with these emergencies? these are important things that everyone has to consider and run by everyone before they make a law. and not only me, but thousands of people have the same problem. thankyou

  34. I THINK THE DRIVING AGE SHOULD BE LOWERED TO 10 YEARS OLD BECAUSE PEOPLE AT THAT AGE ARE DEFFIDENTLY RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH TO DRIVE ESPECIALLY BOYS AS A PARENT OF FOUR I WOULD KNOW!

  35. i don’t think the driving age should be changed because when my old nanny was a kid, the driving for her town was 13!!!!!!! no one she knew died. this proves that age isn’t important when it comes to driving!

  36. I have a question for you all say we rose the age up a year, would all those who had to wait the extra year be better drivers when they first sit behind a wheel? NO! just because one year has gone by DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU ALL OF A SUDDEN KNOW HOW TO DRIVE!!!! To learn how to drive is to get experience while driving with your permit in the car with a legal adult (does not have to be a parent just someone who is 21 and can drive legally) If you live in a city then maybe they should raise the driving age there because its harder to drive there, but keep the permit age teh same so you can get experiance with an adult. and you can take the bus in the city but in a town like the one i live in when the closest place for a job is a 10 minute car ride or 40 minute bike ride you should keep the age the same because how else are kids going to get a job? because parents do not want to drive their children 10 minutes to a place then drive back home then 4 hours later pick them up and waste another 20 minutes. whoever thought that the permit age should be raised to 16 and 1/2 shouldnt have the authority to put forth such a dumb law. o yeah you only need i think 20 hours of driving with a parent (maybe even less) and half a year experiance with permit to get license and the drivers ed is like 25 hours book time and 5 driving time. maybe we should switch those two around and add like 30 hours to drving with parents? maybe not that many because 50 hours is a long time but we should do something like that and just raise the amount of actual on the road experience needed before you can drive by yourself. just sitting in the passenger seat for 20 hours straight will not make you a better driver no matter how strongly you pay attention.

  37. I just researched a little bit and i found out that the rules would be that you have to get your permit at age 16.5 and you cant get your license till 1 year after you have your permit which is 17.5 at the least. the logged driving with your parents would more then triple to 50 hours (doesnt state how much is needed now) and driving with an instructor will more then double to 15 hours. if all we need is approximately 10 hours of driving now before we get our license then why do you think there are so many accidents. and also if you’re one of the people who thinks taht we need to raise it because of all the deaths between age 16-18 then you have no actual fact that that person was not speeding or driving out of control which is not because of age its because of how long he/she spent with his/her parents driving and how well the instructor and parent taught the child to pay attention at all times.

  38. As a driving instructor, I have had to chuckle at some of the comments that have been posted. Please indulge me for a few moments though.

    The problem is not the increase in the age, because I also agree that the age should not be raised (that would in itself create a whole new set of problems) At this time the current law requires a teen wanting to get their license at 16 1/2 to pass a certified driver training course (which includes the 30 hours of classroom instruction, 6 hours of driving instruction and 6 hours of observation of another teen driver. They also must have an additional 12 hours of supervised driving with a parent, guardian or other responsible driver.

    As I had stated in one of my previous posts that to punish a whole segment of society (16 -17 year olds) because of the irresponsible actions of a few would be WRONG.

    The problem lies in the fact that some parents do not in fact give their kids the additional training that is needed. They feel that it is the responsibility of the driving schools to teach the kids to drive. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    From the time a teen driver gets their permit the most common question in the home should be “Can I drive?”

    When you actually do pass your road test, who’s car will you most likely be driving? Your parents car. Doesn’t it make sense for them to spend the time needed with you to be sure that you can safely operate that vehicle?

    The increase in hours that is being proposed will force that to happen, although I personally know of more than one instance where a parent has signed the childs license application stating that they have given their child the additional 12 hours that is required by law and they have never driven with the kid.

    The problem is not with the age of the driver but the lack of real life experience.

    An explanation that I often use with kids in class is simply this. If I were to hand you a pistol and tell you to fire it into a crowd, how many people would you kill?

    If I hand you the keys to a car and you drive it into a crowd how many people will you hurt or kill?

    A car is a tool if used properly, a weapon if not.

    Just a thought

  39. Is there any acception to these rules? like i am 16 and a half, but still have to go through drivers education, and i hold a learners permit. will the new law make it so that if you have a permit, you will be exempt from this law, or i heard if you were born 1989 and before, you are un affected. is this true? i was born in 1989

  40. Its Not Right what they are doing when they were our age they know they couldn’t wait to drive and i dont think iot is right to punish others for ones mistakes. Not everyone gets in a car crash as a teen. i think it is un fair and they need to come into our shoes and see how wwe feel and see how they felt when they were our age and needed to get some where important or anything i thnk it is not right at all and i think we should all stand up for what we believe in and let them ot make this possible

  41. i turn 16 on july 13th so i think im off the hook dont have to wait any longer. but i was wondering what the specifications of the law were? is it any one born in 1991 and on or is it simply if you get your permit after the law is changed then you have to wait

  42. i think the age should even become 16 to get a license becausein school, i have a lot of things after school and jobs and i cant be able to get to them if it is raised to 17.5 and buses are expensive and have a set time, when a car you can use it wenever. changingg the law ill just leave upset teens and when they do get their licences, they still won’t know better. i really have been praying and dreaming 4 the day i get my car so government please don’t ruin that. i believe by getting a car, i will do better in school and become a doctor since i will be able to drive to the library and put the book in my car instead of now i have to carry heaVy books to the bus, and since i gettired i just give up and don’t end up doing work

    P:S my birthday is on October 30th so wish me luck on my permit test yallz x3

  43. i think that they should leave the driving age at 16 1/2. I think that it would do more harm than good especially if the teen has a job, or needs to start saving money for college. It doesn’t make sense to me why they would raise it at the time in life when someone is most likely to need dependable transportation to a job, or volunteer activity.

  44. well everyone is different some are more responsible then others and i dont think they should be suffering by having the law raised and i think we should be given a chance to prove ourselves. well lets see what happens and hopefully it doesnt get raised.

  45. Im 16 years old and im trying to get a permit. I believe that the Kids now a days should actually have more driving education. Raising the age will cripple this generation. and steven u have no right to say that every 16 year old has a legal guardian because there are some that dont. DONT ASSUME WHAT U DO NOT KNOW! The worst part of this is that as a child of a single mother who works fulltime, i have to be escourted to everywhere i need to go. But the older people who say, well we walked or took the buses and subways when i was younger, apparently havent realized that now-a-days its so much more dangerous than u will ever realize. U can try to learn how dangerous it is but the truth is that the older generations never had to go though the things we are.

    College students are moving farther away from their homes to go to colleges for better oppitunities. If i have to be 17 1/2 before i get my license than i wanted know anymore than the 16 1/2 year old. I have a job, which is such a burden on my mom because i have no way of getting there. If u are older that 21 u are aware of the problems on the roads because u drive too, but it makes a big difference when u say things like, All teenages drive like maniacs, or of that sort. Im afraid to get my license.

    Im afraid because there are so many jerks out there. The thing to realize is that its not just teenagers and college kids, there are older people that drive wrecklessly also. I feel that the car education should extend but the classes cost alot of money that some people dont have. The classroom work is usefull to a point but there should be more practice time in the car. However the hours that u should drive with a parent is not only tough on the kid but parent. I know that my mom has a limited amount of time to drive with me.

    The problem with every generation is that they look down at the next and think they know what kids like or what we’re into. They assume that a kid >would love this show because its what teens in todays world love, acion,drama with drugs, violence, sex. Thats what they try to tell us we like. But i and many, many kids i know Dont. And i will never drive wrecklessly. Why?

    Because the only bone in my body i have ever broken was my skull. I had a 2 inch piece breakoff and in was lodge so close to my brain that i couldnt bend over or lift anything heavey for 4 months. This happened when i was 11 years old. I was biking across a clear street when a 46 year old man whipped around the corner going about 57 m/p and hit me. He was not drunk. He was not having any health Issues. He was showing his son a good time. He almost killed me. (And yes i was wearing a helmet).

    The age should not be raised because High schoolers will be high schoolers, they just wanna be cool. I think a video documentary about people dying from car accidents related to speed, not just alcohol, or drugs should be shown with comments from the parrents,friends and the drivers too, in the driving school class rooms.
    People should talk about how they thought that they had full handles on their driving skills and cars but yet they still lost control. This will motivate kids to think about what they might do. Raising the age wont change the problems of accidents. But the employment rate will drop and this generation will suffer. A 16 1/2 year old with the expierience of 6 months is not much different AT ALL, from a 17 1/2 yearold with 6 months experience.

  46. Well just FYI. The legislature passed a new law and Governor Romney signed it just before leaving office. They did not raise the age but did change the current JOL (Junior Operator Law) They finally have put some teeth into the old law by making the penalties more severe for those kids that decide that they want to have their friends in the cars with them right after they get their license instead of waiting the 6 months as required under the JOL.

    Now if you are caught driving with anyone other than a sibling in the car that is under the age of 18 you will loose your license for I think it is 60 days for the first offense, 180 days for the second offense and 365 days for the 3rd or subsequent offense.

    But, they did not raise the age as was debated originally. they also have increased the number of hours training that will be required. If you get your permit after Sept 1, 2007 then you will have to have 12 hours of driving with the driving school and 40 hours with parent or guardian as opposed to the 6 hours with the school and 12 hours with the parent or guardian that is required now.

  47. I have been looking at every stat summery and report I can find on this topic. I have decided that a legal driving age is totaly usless. There are three things that factor into driving: physical ability, mental devlopment, and responsibility. A driving test should test these three things and ignore age compleatly. The only drawback to this is the responsibility test, the result would depend compleatly on the person giving the test, not the student.

  48. I think that the drivers license should be change to 18 or 19. If we want to lower the population let kids younger drive and get killed. But that is the sorrow for the family. So change it to 18 or 19

  49. Im 19 and got my drivers license at 17. I drove my car off of a bridge! i just wasnt old enough to hand the responsability and to be honest Im prob still not. I beleive the legal age should be raised to 21. The Pre-frontal cortex isnt even done developing until around age 2, how can kids be expected to make good, rational, QUICK descition? Yes, this means having to rely on others and public transportation, but i believe if more time and money were spent on developing great public transportation like we have here in Portland, Oregon (thats where im from and located) it would ease the burdon. The reason Im responding is because Its an Issue in all of the United States. Bills are being passed in congress as we speak to raise legal ages. NOT TO MENTION THE WONDERFUL CUT ON GREEN HOUSE GASSES AND EMITIONS THAT WOULD BE A RESULT! :)

  50. I think it’s stupid how people are saying raise the driving age to 17, 18, 21,. I bet when you were were turning 16, you were dying to get your license. Just because a lot of kids are stupid when they drive and have no responsibily, doesnt’t mean you should ruin it to responsible kids. There are tons of kids that are more responsible than adults and besides, many adults don’t know how to drive either. Just give the kids more driving team. Also, have you noticed that kids in most of the country get their permits when they are 15.

  51. why are you government officials so retarded? seriously.. not only will raising the driving age to 18 upset 1000s of teens it would put 100s of driving schools out of business for not having an incoome for 2 years except for the illigal mexicans or what not.. also it was close to passing and many of my friends were ready to start riots no matter the consequences.. but it didnt pass so you narrowly avoided a could be deadly conflict.. you think your so big cuz youve had you licenses for 30 years.. im 17 and im a better driver than my mom who is 45, i can back a 30 foot trailered boat down my driveway in which there is minimal room.. 16 – 17 is the only logical age for someone to get their license becuase not everyone is 18 in highschool and turn it in college.. if you go to college out of state, how does getting your permit work? traveling backa nd forth to mass to go to drivers ed and get experience with parents? yea real smart considering that could mean 100$s in gas for trips to pick up the student that is 4 hours away in new york or what not… if it wasnt assault id walk up into the white house or capital building and slap the person who is making these laws up… this is how our government is corrupt and your all useless and need to cure poverty or something instead of worrying about 16 and 17 year olds… the killers are the drunk drivers and the lack of police not the 16 and 17 year olds.. you make it seem like we are all juviniles when some of us are actually better drivers than you.. face the facts you guys have no common sense

  52. Driving ages should be raised to 18! dO YOU NO HOW IRRESPONSIBLLE teens are these days. Look the lower the age the high everyone else has topay insurance. 16gets you in trouble, the drinking age for most teens. Late night parties, having one drink can kill an innocent person. Kids these days dont think before they act, they do what they want when they want. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Teens con not get the consept of how dangerous they can be on the streets or behind the wheel.

  53. I agree that this is not about JUST age. Cell phones, text messaging, and lack of skills training. Make it mandatory for all new drivers to take and paseed advanced driver training courses. SAVE LIVES. If the driver of her car had taken this course there is a 50% CHANCE I WOULD STILL BE RAISING AND LOVING MY 16 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER

  54. Some kids aren’t responsible because they are stupid! Lots of kids have jobs and are responsible and how are they going to go to their jobs if no one can take them. Are they just going to stay home and have nothing to do. I have an uncle who is almost 50 and he is horrible at driving. He is a drunk driver who has gotten in so many accidents. If the driving age reaches 18, many people will just leave the state because of how retared this all is. Also btw Nikki, your telling me that when you were young, you never went out to parties and you never kid foolish thngs when you were young. All kids need is driving time and driver’s ed. A 16 year old and an 18 year old can learn the same.

  55. Hey Niki, just out of curiousity how old are you. i guess it doesn’t matter…but imagine if you had to get your liscence at 18. so whatever age you are take the next two years of your life and do not drive at all. thats what it would feel like to the teenagers who deserve to get their liscence on time like everyone else in the past.

  56. I just recieved my permit 2 months ago, and I believe that the age should not be risen. Not because I am 16 and will be getting my license in November, but because I beleive that geting your license at 17 1/2 would make things complicated for a teenager in high school. Think about it; you would be a junior or possibly a senior in high school who doesn’t have their license. This means that when working, you would need to to get someone to pick you up during the week (this is when your parent or guardian was working)to take you to work, and you would have to constanly have to bother people to go and pick you up when you needed to go and get something, or go somwhere. I do think that maybe having teenagers have more driving hours would be a good thing, because I feel that 30 hours just simply isn’t enough for a teenager to just be driving, in order to then recieve your license.

  57. i just turned 16 on september 8thand i am getting my premit in a coulpe of days and i think tha now they have now made mor driving time and obsevations for drivers ed and this meansd more experience and i think that is stupid and both of my brothers got there liscence at 16 and a half and i want to have my liscence then to and now drivers ed is now 700 dolars and i have to get a job to pay for it and if i cant get my permit i cant pay for drivers ed or find a crappy job a round my town that i can ride my bike to

  58. PLEASE DONT CHANGE THE DRIVING AGE BECAUSE IM TURNING 15 IN 3 MORE DAYS AND I BEEN DYING TO GET MY LICENCE…PLEASE LEAVE IT 16 1/2

  59. dud ei think it’s really retarded.like for one your gonna put alot of business out because drivivng school right now is really successful because the teens that are 16 really want to drive.so if you put the age to 18 you’ll have less experenced kids on the road but if anything that would be worse because 18year olds like to drink so most likely they are the irresponsible ones!!!!wtf

  60. I am 14, and I am already working on my car. It’s a 1989 Camaro Rs. I love that car. If I have to wait another year, I don’t know what I’m going to do! I can’t wait to drive. I knew I had 2 years to wait, and now I might have to wait 3 years! I know it’s only a year, but why should the whole state suffer when it’s the teachers and the students that don’t care. Maybe they should look at the school record of the people who want to get a lisence. if they do good in school, then they know they can be trusted. If they did bad in school, then maybe they can give them some type of test about everything that they learned in school. It wouldn’t be a one day test, but like a 3 part test, like 1 part each day. I wouldn’t mnd diopng that, if the outcome woud be me able to drive everywhere. See, I I were an average 14 year old kid, I wouldn’t be writing this much about something like this. Think about it.

  61. I turned fifteen on the 28th of September, and I think that the driving age should stay the way it is. However, I think that the level of instruction should be heightened. Maybe 14 hours a week for a month of learning on-road etiquette, the physics, and tehnique. (My dad was a police officer, so this is how I can formulate this sort of opinion). I think that if the lessons are harder, it might deter some people who should not be driving anyway from getting behind the wheel, and those who do have the maturity and drive (pun intended) to take the courses will be smarter drivers. And frankly, I have seen some people on the road that are middle-aged and clearly should not be driving. Also, I see some high schoolers who are better drivers than a lot of adults. All I know is that I’m tired of relying on my dad for transport to friends’ houses and school functions, and don’t even get me started on trying to get home from play rehearsal! If getting behind the wheel at sixteen and a half means sacrificing some free time, I’m all for it.

  62. Hey there, my name is Sarah and I think that raising the driver’s license age is an excellent idea. 16 is too young to be behind the wheel. Every year thousands of kids kill themselves and others because they are too inexperienced with driving and in life in general to understand and be able to carry out the responsibilities needed to drive well. DRIVING ISNT A RIGHT IT IS A PRIVILEGE! So what if kids have to wait a couple extra years to get their license if it will save their lives and others lives? People say that other countries give licenses out at 15, however other countries don’t have the drinking and driver problems that the United States does. We top that list every single year.
    “Frank” stated that it was the lack of police and drunk drivers that were the killers…. unfortunately what he didn’t realize was that the static’s on drunk drivers are thee 16 –20 year olds. Not the 45-year-old mom. Police cannot stop people from being stupid they can only give punishment for those who chose to be stupid. “Kelsey” thinks that it would be dumb to have to bother your parents and friends to drive you places…I really don’t think that it would bother then that much, rather then bury you. Everyone is saying that it isn’t fair because their bothers or others have gotten their license when they were 16. A- life isn’t fair. B- more kids die every year from drunk driving accidents then anything else. Maybe just maybe this law isn’t to punish kids it to save them from ending up a static.

    PS – driving classes have always been expensive and 700 isn’t a lot of money.

  63. Well hear me out… i may not live in mass. but i do live in Virginia which is not too far away. The state requires u to be 15 and 6 months to get your permit…just go to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) take the test and get your Driver’s licences Learners permit. And with 40 hours of “practice driving” with your parents and 9 months later, you can get your Drivers license (16 and 3 mo.) I just got my license and love it. However, seeing my peers driving and acting crazy on the road makes me wonder “why do we get our license so early?” For instance, If minors cannot by weapons, why put them behind a 2-4 ton vehicle that is much worse than a weapon? I do in fact belive that the driving age should be raised to 18 reguardless the state. I completely understand the fact about Highschool students trying to get transportation to jobs and having to continuously “bug” people to getting a ride. But there is always carpooling. It also saves gas and pollution. I am not a mother earth kind of guy but we are trying to preserve the world not kill the ozone and the earth become a fireball. But back to the age, it should be raised… but thats my opinion.

  64. I dont think it matters how old you are… kids are irresponsible up until their 20s, and we cant wait that long. It takes a long time to learn to drive, and THATS why accidents occur, not because of age but because of inexperience. If the age is bumped to 18, the drivers will STILL be experienced, STILL drinking underage, and there will be no drop in the number of accidents.

  65. I personally think it is stupid to change the driving age to 18. Kids are the only the number one cause of accidents because they are inexperienced. You are always going to have that immature age group when they first get their license. It makes the look “cool”. Changing the age to 18, will just cause the same issues. There are many mature 16 – 17 year olds who are getting penalyzed for stupid decisions their age group acts. I think parents should have the say at least until they turn the age 18. If kids are ready and experienced enough the drive at the age of 16 then let them, the immature and inexperienced ones can wait til they are ready.

  66. @Craig
    I have three children; one who got his license at 16 1/2, a daughter who just got her license this summer and a second daughter who will turn 16 next month. The requirement changes that occurred Sept 2007; increased Drivers Ed driving requirement, the requriement of parent/guardian to attend 2 hours of Drivers Ed and the changes in the JOL are important steps in teaching teens to be good drivers. Accidents happen more to teens (teens represent 7% of drivers, yet 15% of fatal accidents) because they are inexperienced and lack good driving judgement. They also have more distractions (cell phones ringing and texting, Ipods, music, friends) and there are far more cars on the road, furthermmore there are more traffic obstacles (breakdown lane on 128). In order for them to become more experienced they should spend more time behind the wheel with an alert, experienced driver for more time. Perhaps we should be considering allowing them to get the permit at age 15 1/2, but require that they have a permit for 12 or even 18 months before they get a JOL. Then have a restricted license until they are 18.

  67. hey everyone, whoever reads this, please think twice about changing the age. Some kids arn’t mature, i’ll give you that. and cars weren’t made the way they were back in the day. I have been working with my dad repairing cars since i could pick up a wrench. He has taught me all about cars. what they can and can’t do. I am so close to getting my license. I know there are so many kids out there just like me. wanting freedom. Can’t some of you older people remember when you turned 16? now please tell me you didn’t feel so… alive. all i ask is that if they decide to have a vote on changing the driving age, support me and all of the others out there just like me.

  68. For safety reasons, i think the age should be raised. For common sense, it should stay. i didnt believe it, but there are some states where the age is even younger. those states should raise the age, before we do.

  69. Im turning 14in a few days and i just moved from Georgia to Mass and in Georgia the permitt age is 15 and the licensce age is 16. I think that is a reasonable age for those levels, considering the fact that most parents would not enjoy driving their juniors and seniors to school, and frankly, yelling out the window “Have a nice day sweetie! Mommy loves you!” to a 16 year old is over-the-top embarrassing. So I personally believe that the permitt and licensce age should be LOWERED. If we teach the younger society (my generation) the dangers of driving in a way that will not make them scared to drive, but want to drive safe, then they will be not only a good, but a safe driver. Its all about planting the information into their mind. if students can learn that driving isnt something that is to be played around with, then they’re will be less teenage deaths. Maybe if Driving Instructors would show examples of little things that caused huge consequences (i.e. Luke Abbate), the student will learn not to play around with not only driving, but their life.

    I just read a comment that just sparked another reason why the age should infact be lowered. In South Carolina, The permit age is 14 1/2 and the licensce age is 15 1/2. And there are less teen deaths there than there are here. I believe the reason for that is because at a younger age, driving would be a bit of an intimidation, making that teen more cautious and basically removing the idea that reckless driving isnt dangerous. This is a good example of why the age should be lowered. that is my opinion.

  70. if anything they should make driver’s ed longer, not raise the driving age. it doesnt make sense. im 15. i will graduate when im 17,so if they raise th riving age to 18, then i’ll have very little experience behind the wheel when i go to college. i also think there should be some law about maximum driving age. one of my friends’ grandparents can barely see over the steering wheel. half the time she relies on the power lines to stay on the road. how come she can drive and i cant???

  71. Ok, if your not 16 you don’t understand. It’s not about age. its like learning at age 18, you will make the same mistakes. im 16, and im a very good driver and very cautious. i do not speed, if anything it sound be older people that get tested every once in a while. 30- 50 year olds are the ones that speed and that aren’t cautous. at my age, im still cautous, and when i get into the car i put on my seatbeat, adjust mirror and so one. older people dont.

    • That is irrelevant. And I really don’t expect you, at 16, to completely comprehend the issue.

      YOU, and other 16-17 year olds, are on a PROBATIONARY license to drive. OLDER PEOPLE ARE NOT.

      Older people know that when they speed, there are penalties and have to deal with those penalties (fines, increase in insurance, possible loss of license for repeat offenses, etc).

      YOU and many your age, do not get that luxury. The luxury of being an EXPERIENCED adult driver.

      Yes, this is completely about age. I don’t think they should raise the age. But, I do think that the current penalties for jr. operators are just and warranted.

      Think about it this way. If you get a job, you are typically on a 90 day probationary period. You screw up in that period, you lose your job.

      Driving is not a right, it is a privledge.

  72. And now the stupid little $35.00 fine in massachusetts if you text while driving. You are supposed to be smarter as an adult then we should fine you like an adult. I am for higher fines for texting while driving for adults and yes I am an adult. that amount probably doesn’t even cover the cost of writing the ticket

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