Driving Me Crazy

Michael Varriale, Staff Writer

Commentary on the Driver’s License Situation

It’s the first day of senior year and you’re excited to start your year of fun activities! But then you walk on the bus and realize there is one key part of senior year you’re missing out on. Surprisingly enough, there are quite a large number of students who cannot drive to start off their senior year.

After their 16th birthday, most kids will go to the DMV and get their learner’s permit as soon as they can. After this, they’ll spend a few weeks doing Drivers Ed, which is now virtual. Then after this what do you do?

The next step is to take your road test, but it’s not as easy as you would think. To take your road test you need your drivers-ed certificate along with a lot of other paperwork, but most importantly you need time and experience behind the wheel.

You can’t take your road test unless you’ve had your permit for six months. That in itself is fairly annoying, but it gets worse. Now that you’ve passed your road test – you’re all done and ready to drive! Wrong. You need to wait another six months until you turn 17 to get your full license. 
 Now that you’ve passed your road test, you can get your junior license, which allows you to drive to work on your own without a supervising driver, but that’s basically it. Yes, you can drive to after school activities, night school, any extracurricular activities as well as to work, but there’s one place missing: school. You’ve passed your road test, done everything required, and driven to work on your own, but you still can’t drive to school.

This wasn’t always the case. Just a few short years ago on Long Island, you could drive to school with your junior license. Why the change? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accidents make up a third of all teen deaths, so this change in law was an attempt to lower that statistic. It is unclear whether or not this change was beneficial or not as it is still very new.

Driving is one of the most anticipated things about senior year and this law can put a big damper on it. It is still new, so hopefully it will be changed, but for now, it’s still an inconvenience to some people.