Letter: Teen drivers need our protection“Drive to Arrive Alive” is a motto I have strived to instill into the minds of teenage drivers during my 30-plus years of drivers education.
By: Don Buck, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
“Drive to Arrive Alive” is a motto I have strived to instill into the minds of teenage drivers during my 30-plus years of drivers education. Also DDD=D (Dumb driving decisions equals death) is a companion thought.
A required two-hour class with parents where a state trooper shares concerns and shows a tragic video of fatal teen crashes is captivating as parents realize that “tough love” decisions are necessary to safeguard their most precious possession: their child.
Recent laws (primary seats belts, graduated teen driving laws, night hours, number of passengers, loss of license) certainly increase our safety consciousness; however, Minnesota’s number of fatal teen-age accidents is one of the highest in the nation.
More progressive eastern states have required parent class component as part of their child’s licensure. Within several years, they found a 40 to 50 percent decline in teen fatal accidents, a much higher level of seat belt use, less drinking and driving and less cell phone use while driving. Some states have even raised the minimum driving age to 17.
A leading Minnesota legislator says that the present mind set at the state Capitol would not consider the parent class law. Various legislators are trying to have the primary seat belt law repealed as well as the teen graduated license law.
Evidently “saving lives” is not part of their agenda.
Instead, the permit instruction class should be available on the Internet as teens are too busy to attend a formal 30-hour class.
Since these parents are too busy also, a formal two-hour class for them and their child is also out of the question.
One legislator even wants the drinking age lowered to 18, and 16 year-olds can publically drink with a parent!
What is happening within our society? “Minnesota nice” is being replaced by “You can’t tell me what to do!” “Minnesota stupid” gives us the freedom to hurt ourselves and others.
If you have concerns about the safety of our young drivers, contact our legislators and give them a wake-up call. Make some informed decisions at the ballot box in November.