There are few moments in life that are as important as the day when a teenager gets their ticket to freedom—their driver’s license. That is the milestone that every kid looks to when they are young. We all remember when that day came. We had a fresh grip on the wheel and the cool breeze in our hair. Cruising the town. It was a ticket to loud music and driving anywhere you please.
It’s too bad that the appalling “safety first” mentality of today’s adults has already stripped away every ounce of joy that comes with being a kid. Now they have taken aim at the right to drive. I think driving is a right and not a privilege, despite what most people will tell you. Unless there is sufficient public mass transit where you live, you have no choice put to own a car. And you have a right to be mobile.
Today, laws restricting youth driving are ever-growing in number with each passing year, varying by state. Laws that restrict the time of day that inexperienced drivers are allowed to be on the road, a limit on the mere number of passengers they can have in their car with them, school requirements on maintaining your license and a threat to raise driving ages all undermine this magical transition into early adulthood.
Let me be clear that even though some teenagers may act childish, a sixteen-year-old person is not a child. I think that every teenager who is sixteen years of age should be able to drive a car without any restrictions imposed on their freedom. Though, I don’t think anyone should be given a brand new car at their sweet sixteen party, as too often seems to be the case with some of these brats.
The topic which made me want to toss my opinion into the ring is that of the modern “black boxes” that parents can now purchase for their son’s or daughter’s car. A line has been crossed, and the obsession over safety has finally gone way too far. I think these units are asinine to say the least.
This machine is connected to the car and is supposed to serve two purposes. 1) Some omit a squeal or rattle when the car is being driven too fast. 2) It records all of the driving data so that nosey, untrusting parents can then dissect all of the details of their child’s driving habits using their home computer. Some boxes are even fitted with GPS tracking devices that tell them when and where the car was driven at all times!
I think this is complete madness. If you don’t trust your son our daughter with a car, then give them one. This is Big Brother at its worst. What is next? Recording all of the conversation in the car at all times too? Where does it end? Are insurance companies going to someday require drivers to outfit their cars with these intrusive machines? I believe that everyone has a right to privacy, including teenagers. Sometimes, it is downright necessary to go 90 miles an hour if you have to pass someone on the interstate. So what. Everybody has done it and most continue to.
I hope there isn’t a big market for these silly gadgets. My fear is that there is. I wish this would all stop before it even gets started. It’s bad enough that traffic today is so congested and gas prices are soaring. Now there are cameras at stoplights that take your picture as you pass through the stoplight that you didn’t beat to red. Take a giant helping of that and a side order of 24-hour in-car monitoring. It is a depressing day to be young and not so free.