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The Fuzz

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Legal Driving Age
« on: October 13, 2012, 09:26:29 AM »

I believe I have said it here before, but I remember my eldest backing out of the driveway at age 16 and was petrified.  It was the first year we moved to Monroe and I couldn't help but to think that she just did not have the skills needed to drive up here.  Keep in mind that we moved from a very rural area of the Midwest where traffic congestion was not near what it is here.  Big difference between a farm town of less than 1000 people versus road conditions here.

I still think it should be 18, and after googling the topic just saw where in most countries that it is.

http://ezinearticles.com/?Is-The-Legal-Driving-Age-The-Same-For-All-Countries?&id=1192473

Here is the legal driving ages in various countries around the world:

- Canada: 18 (was just recently changed from 16)

- Russia: 18

- China: 18

- India: 18

- Japan: 18

- New Zealand: 15

- Ethiopia: 14

- Cyprus: 18

- Europe: 18 (the UK is 17, but considering an increase to 18 years of age)

It seems like 18 is the most common age to acquire a driver's license around the world with the exception of the U.S., New Zealand, the UK, and Ethiopia. However, there is one country that poses a very interesting scenario when it comes to the legal driving age. Usually, countries keep a consistent driving age, but Australia does not. Depending on where you are located in Australia depends on how old you can be when you can legally drive.

Here are the driving ages for Australia:

- New South Wales: 17

- Northern Territory: 17

- South Australia: 16

- Tansmania: 17

- Victoria: 18

- Western Australia: 17

- Queensland: 17

In most states within Australia, the learner's permit can be acquired 3 months before the teenager reaches the minimum age to acquire their driver's license.

In Europe, the following rules apply:

- The driver can be 16 years of age if operating a two-wheel or three-wheel vehicle that does not exceed 45 km/h

- The driver can be 16 years of age if driving a motorcycle with no more than a 125 cubic centimetre cylinder capacity and power that does not exceed 11 kW. The power/weight ratio should not exceed 0.1 kW/kg.

- The driver can be 18 if the power of a motorcycle does not exceed 35 kW and the power/weight ration does not exceed 0.2 kW/kg.

- Motorcycles with power that exceeds 15 kW has a minimum age of 20 years old

- The driver must be 18 years of age for regular motor vehicles and combination vehicles (except in the UK where the legal driving age is 17)

- When driving Lorries, the minimum age is either 18 years or 21 years depending on the type of vehicle being driven.

- For busses of all types, the minimum driving age is 21.

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Baggins

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Re: Legal Driving Age
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2012, 09:39:01 AM »

18 sounds right to me...I think 16 was just too early to be driving.  I know when I was 16, I would have thought differently, but age makes one wiser and you get to see things as they really are(at least some do). 8* 

I know I did some stupid and reckless things with cars back then, but of course I thought I was invincible as every other 16 year old does.
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The Fuzz

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Re: Legal Driving Age
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2012, 09:43:52 AM »

Yea, I think we all did Zman.

The only thing I was ready for at that age in a car was what happened in the back seat.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Legal Driving Age
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2012, 09:45:17 AM »

This is and has always been a tough one...

it's too bad that 'age' is the measure we use...

I believe it's all about ability and maturity.

There are some people who shouldn't be allowed to drive at 25 yrs of age...

My oldest daughter was an excellent driver at 16 even though she hated the fact I bought her a car with a 5 speed manual transmission!  Of course today (16 years later) she's very happy she can drive that 5 speed and she's an even better driver ;) ;) ;)

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rwwjr

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Re: Legal Driving Age
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2012, 09:49:25 AM »

When my 2 oldest were of age of eligibility to take drivers ed, I would not let them until they showed me they were responsible enough to earn the PRIVILEDGE, not the right, to take classes by maintaining good grades in school  So, they both waited until they were 18  One took the class, and passed, the other just walked into Sec of State, took test, passed it and passed the driving portion.  But I would not let them take it when they were at the age, cause I did not feel they were mature enough  The youngest yes, but only after about 16 1/2 years not 15 1/2
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The Fuzz

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Re: Legal Driving Age
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2012, 09:57:59 AM »

This is and has always been a tough one...

it's too bad that 'age' is the measure we use...

I believe it's all about ability and maturity.

There are some people who shouldn't be allowed to drive at 25 yrs of age...

My oldest daughter was an excellent driver at 16 even though she hated the fact I bought her a car with a 5 speed manual transmission!  Of course today (16 years later) she's very happy she can drive that 5 speed and she's an even better driver ;) ;) ;)

Yea...there is definitely a skill set differential too BRD, no doubt.

Where I grew up by the time most of us were that age we had picked up a lot of experience on farms driving tractors or trucks down field roads, but even then there was a skill set difference.
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Baggins

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Re: Legal Driving Age
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2012, 09:59:10 AM »

This is and has always been a tough one...

it's too bad that 'age' is the measure we use...

I believe it's all about ability and maturity.

There are some people who shouldn't be allowed to drive at 25 yrs of age...

My oldest daughter was an excellent driver at 16 even though she hated the fact I bought her a car with a 5 speed manual transmission!  Of course today (16 years later) she's very happy she can drive that 5 speed and she's an even better driver ;) ;) ;)

Manual transmissions do help make one a better driver, I think, makes you concentrate more at the actual job of driving the car...My first car was a Mustang(4 speed)(blew it up drag racing!), next was a Type 3 VW(4 speed), then I had a VW Scirocco(5 speed), then it was a Jeep CJ 5(3 speed)...All of those vehicles helped me become a better driver.

You've got a point, the tests and driving skills should be of a higher standard(even if the age was at 18)...And have instructors that teach how to drive and not just how to operate a vehicle(there is a difference!) and a DMV that actually scores people correctly... :o
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BigRedDog

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Re: Legal Driving Age
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2012, 10:06:21 AM »

Yea...there is definitely a skill set differential too BRD, no doubt.

Where I grew up by the time most of us were that age we had picked up a lot of experience on farms driving tractors or trucks down field roads, but even then there was a skill set difference.

When my dad was growing up he had a 'farm license' when he was younger than 16...   seems like it may have been as young as 12.  I grew up on a farm and was driving tractors and other vehicles at an extremely young age. 

The day we took our driver's education 'road test' (with a Michigan State Police Trooper at that time) we had 2 driver's ed cars with automatics and one with a manual.  No one waiting in line at the manual so I slid right over there and waited.  About 4 others joined me and I was first to drive.  Before we were across the parking lot and out of the driveway the trooper commented "ummhhh...   I think you've driven a lot before"...

 ;) ;) ;)
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The Fuzz

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Re: Legal Driving Age
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2012, 10:13:48 AM »

Unfortunately the regulation/rule has to be across the board....and perhaps it should be by state.

I still think it should be 18, with provisions made for rural agricultural states where special licenses can be obtained.
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Frenchfry

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Re: Legal Driving Age
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2012, 04:06:46 PM »

The quest to raise the driving age is completely arbitrary and unfair.

The impetus for this discussion may have begun because of the fatal mistake of a 17 year old....but that ignores the many examples of horrendous accidents caused by those of advanced age.

Or those with diminished mental capacity whatever the age or cause...for example those with sports injuries such as concussions...reactionary time is often affected...not to mention judgment.

And let's not ignore visual acuity...there are a myriad of reasons that could lead one to question the ability of a person to drive safely.

Look, people make mistakes...oftentimes deadly....but to punish an entire segment of the population based on an arbitrary chronological number doesn't seem right.

I'm having difficulty maintaining my train of thought...my little one is pestering me.
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The Fuzz

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Re: Legal Driving Age
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2012, 04:46:24 PM »

Little ones will do that!

I based my opinion on my own experience with my children.  I just didn't feel at 16 that they had the quick decision making skills nor coordination to react while having a few hundred horsepower under them.

I doubt that I would have been ready at 16 had it not been for the experience I gained behind the wheel while working agricultural jobs.  I know I certainly did not have the maturity level that matched driving at that age.
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Monique

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Re: Legal Driving Age
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2012, 07:20:50 PM »

Little ones will do that!

I based my opinion on my own experience with my children.  I just didn't feel at 16 that they had the quick decision making skills nor coordination to react while having a few hundred horsepower under them.

I doubt that I would have been ready at 16 had it not been for the experience I gained behind the wheel while working agricultural jobs.  I know I certainly did not have the maturity level that matched driving at that age.
I agree. I think it's ok for kids to take driving lessons at age 16, but I won't be turning my kids loose with a car, nor letting them ride with another young driver. Too many bad things happen that way. I remember the crazy 'stuff' I did when I was that age!!
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The Fuzz

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Re: Legal Driving Age
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2012, 10:23:14 PM »

Look, people make mistakes...oftentimes deadly....but to punish an entire segment of the population based on an arbitrary chronological number doesn't seem right.

No doubt....I've had several close calls over the years by not paying close attention too. 

I look at some of what most people consider civilized countries and see that they have minimum age requirement a year or two older than we do...and appears Canada just recently made the move to 18.

I just remember that first time watching mine back out of the driveway and wondering if I had just made the worst decision of my life....I was petrified.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Legal Driving Age
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2012, 07:50:58 AM »

No doubt....I've had several close calls over the years by not paying close attention too. 

I look at some of what most people consider civilized countries and see that they have minimum age requirement a year or two older than we do...and appears Canada just recently made the move to 18.

I just remember that first time watching mine back out of the driveway and wondering if I had just made the worst decision of my life....I was petrified.

I remember my oldest daughter's first solo trip to visit a friend.  I had all the confidence in the world.  Probably more than she did because she was convinced she couldn't drive that 5 speed stick all the way to Erie...  by herself.  I did send my cell phone with her (it was a bag phone) just in case...   and it seems like it did take her a little longer than it should have to get there...  maybe she was so happy she made it she forgot to call right away :-\ :-\ :-\

And she's never looked back... one of her personal vehicles has a 4 speed and most of her work vehicles have 5 speeds...  and I think her last "Safe Driving Award" from work had a 5 year sticker on it!!!
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eriemermaid

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Re: Legal Driving Age
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2012, 08:18:54 AM »

I don't think waiting until they are 18 is a good idea.  Many of them are already graduated and ready to go off to college.  These kids need the time to drive with a parent still "in control" before getting that card and taking off with no parental input.
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