22 March 2012
Audience: Professor Kevin Morris
Changing the Driving Age Should Not Be Raised
It should come as no surprise that when the issue of whether or not the driving age should be raised is brought up, most people will argue that it should. If these same individuals were to take a look at some of the facts on this issue, their minds might be up for a change. The issue of raising the driving age has been a topic of discussion for many years because most of the evidence is going to point to the fact that younger drivers have more automobile accidents. While this fact is true, the concept of actually raising the minimum driving age will not decrease the number of automobile accidents caused by young drivers. The minimum driving age in South Carolina should remain at 17 years of age for a regular driver’s license, because young drivers need to be able to transport themselves, and it is unfair to punish young drivers for the mistakes of others.
The current driving age requirements for South Carolina should remain the same because of the requirements that are imposed on getting a driver’s license. According to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, “an individual amongst the age of 17 may obtain a regular driver’s license with a parent or guardian’s signature. At the age of 18 a person can obtain a regular driver’s license on their own. In addition, South Carolina offers a conditional license for teenager’s ages 15 years old and a restricted license for 16 year olds. The conditional license is available to 15 year olds whom have had their permit for at least 180 days, passed a vision and skills test, had a driver’s education course, had satisfactory school attendance, and practiced driving for a required number of hours. According to Janice Arenofsky, “teenagers should go through a probationary licensing program called Graduated Driver Licensing, this program consist of more experience—[ for teens to advance to be better drivers] before teens face high risk situations. In addition,“ the conditional license, drivers are only allowed to drive during daylight hours by themselves, can only transport two drivers under the age of 21, and must drive with a licensed parent or guardian at night. The requirements for the restricted license are the same as for the conditional with the exception that the driver is 16 years of age. The restrictions for this license are also the same as the restrictions placed on the conditional license; however, with the restricted license a teenager can get a time waiver to drive alone later if he or she has a job or participates in after school activities.” (Initial) South Carolina obviously understands that young drivers need to be able to transport themselves (if needed) when they set these driving ages and requirements. It’s also recognizable from these current requirements that South Carolina understands that driving experience is the key problem and not the age of the driver. It is imperative to keep the current driving age that has been set because young drivers are not going to be able to get the driving experience that they need if it is changed.
The driving age should not change because young drivers need to be able to transport themselves. For example, teens may have to run a few errands for their parents; they may have to pick up their younger siblings and relatives, or even go to work. (“Driving) Many young drivers participating in after school activities cannot rely on their parents or others for transportation to these activities. Most students who are participating in these activities are demonstrating maturity for their age, and therefore should be allowed to drive. Some young drivers have after school jobs that they need transportation to and from work. It is important to allow these young drivers to have jobs and learn to be responsible young adults. According to Raja and Ellement newspaper writers for the Boston Globe, “Not every parent is going to be able to take their kids to a job and now you’re going to take away their right to go to that job.” To sum it up, an increase in the minimum driving age could do more harm than good for a lot of young drivers.
An increase in the minimum driving age would unfairly punish young drivers for the mistakes of others. According to Endersby, an author of Dabatabase website, “Many teen are safe and careful driver, and almost all adult drivers today stated before they were 18. It would be unfair to punish all 16 and 17 year olds for the bad behavior of a few.” Would a person punish both their children, when only one had done something wrong? An increase in the minimum driving age will be punishing innocent young drivers for the mistakes of others.
Some people may argue that increasing the minimum driving age will cut down on the number of automobile accident; however, the age of the driver is not the problem. As stated by Endersby, “It is true that young drivers have more accidents, but it is because of their inexperience and not because of their age. If the driving age were to be raised, there will still be just as many accidents, but they will be caused by the new higher age group.” The answer to this problem is not raising the driving age; the so is that young drivers need more experience before obtaining a driver’s license.
In conclusion, the driving age in South Carolina should remain at 17. An increase in the minimum driving age will have no effect on the problem with our roadways; in fact the problems may only get worse. Furthermore, it is important to allow young drivers to be responsible, and to get the driving experience that is required for adult life.
Thesis: The minimum driving age in South Carolina should remain at 17 years of age for a regular driver’s license, because young drivers need to be able to transport themselves, and it is unfair to punish young drivers for the mistakes of others I. The driving age increase is an issue
A. People need to look at the facts
B. Most evidence supports an increase
C. Raising the driving age will not help the problem
II. South Carolina drivers licenses
A. Regular drivers licenses
B. Conditional drivers licenses
C. Restricted drives licenses
III. Young drivers need to transport themselves
A. Some young drivers have after school activities
B. Some young drivers have jobs
IV. An increase in the driving age is unfair
A. It’s unfair to punish others mistakes
B. Many teens are safe and careful
V. The age of the driver is not a problem
A. Inexperience is the problem
B. Increase in the driving age will not help
VI. Driving age should stay the same
A. Drivers need experience
B. Increase will not fix the problem
Arenofsky, Janice. “A Safer Way to Go graduated driver’s licenses.” Current Health 2, a Weekly Reader
Pubulication Dec. 1998: 30. General OneFile. Web. 21 Mar.2012 “Driving age: you speak out!” Scholastic Choices Apr.-May 2006: 4+. General OneFile. Web. 21 Mar.
Endersby, Alastair. “Driving Age, raise to 18.” International Debate Education Association. Debatabase,
31 Dec.2008.Web. 20 Mar. 2012
“Initial Drivers License.” South Carolina Department of Motor Vechiles. N.p., 2007. Web. 18 Mar.2012.
Raja, Mishra, and John R. Ellement. “Opposition Builds To Raising Minimum Driving Age.” Boston Globe
28 Mar. 2006: n. pag. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 17 Mar. 2012.