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Should Driving Age be Raised or Lowered?

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Nathan Shek

on 2 June 2014

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Transcript of Should Driving Age be Raised or Lowered?

Should Driving Age be Raised or Lowered?
By Nathan Shek
Mrs. Miele, Period 3
In 1899 Chicago and New York City were the first cities to require testing before being allowed to operate a motor vehicle. Massachusetts and Missouri were the first US states to require a license for operating a motor vehicle in 1903.
Pennsylvania's 1909 licensing laws were the first to give an age restriction ("18 years of age") and the first state to allow 16-year-olds to drive (accompanied by a licensed driver) was Connecticut in 1921.
It took several decades during the early 20th century for 16 to emerge as the minimum licensing age for most states. Today, there is widespread debate about raising the minimum age to reduce teen driving fatalities.

PROS of Raising Driving Age
People who want driving age to be raised say that young adults aren't mature enough to drive, and if driving age is raised, the result will be less accidents.
Some environmentalists make arguments for raising driving age too: They say that the reduced number of driving people in their teens will lead to less oxidants (chemicals) in the air.
CONS of Raising Driving Age
Some teens have arguments, however, for keeping the driving age low. First, many things occur while driving, causing the driver to have to pay attention and develop skills of quick decision making and watching all around the car to visualize and analyze what is happening around them.

Also, ask parents and many will admit that giving their 16-year-olds the keys is a big convenience. After years of carting kids to school and back and taking them wherever they need to go, it's a relief to let them drive themselves.
Although I would love it if driving age would be lowered, it would be more beneficial to the world if driving age is made higher. This is because of safety concerns (such as texting while driving or being distracted by friends while driving) ; the result of raising driving age will be more mature people on the road as well as less accidents. In addition, new findings from brain researchers at the National Institutes of Health explain that a 16-year-old's "executive branch" of the brain is generally far less developed than those of teens just a little older - the part that weighs risks, makes judgments and controls impulsive behavior.
Minimum Driving Age
Volume 96, Issue 9 of Issue memorandum, South Dakota Legislature
Author: David L. Ortbahn
Publisher: South Dakota State Legislative Research Council, 1996
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