• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Late for school

Young, dumb and dangerous:

Indiana State Police say a 17-year-old girl stopped for driving 118 mph on Interstate 65 told the arresting officer she and her friends were headed to school.

Police stopped the 2000 Toyota Celica driving south on I-65 near Merrillville at about 6:30 Wednesday morning. There were three teenage boys in the car besides the girl, who was driving. Police say all four tested positive for alcohol.

6:30 in the morning, drunk, driving over 100 mph. Kinda helps make the case for raising the driving age to 18 doesn't it?

Those who make that argument cite all the accidents involving 16-year-old drivers and are met with the counter-argument that the statistics would be the same for first-year drivers, whatever age that is. But teen brains are different from adult ones, and judgment and impulse control are among the last traits to come online. The longer we make teens wait to get a license, the better drivers they should be in the first year.

I don't know that I'd necessarily advocate raising the driving age -- there are a lot of other factors to consider, like all those teenagers with after-school jobs to get to. But the people who argue for it do have some science on their side.


Thu, 09/11/2008 - 10:45am

I don't much like Dr. Phil but he did make one comment that I really agree with. He says that although teens have adult bodies their brains don't stop developing until about age 25. Looking back on my own teen years as well as watching my teenage grandkids--that seems about right. I've noticed more than once that they haven't grown into their brains yet.