The start of the new year can typically bring with it a host of new safety and traffic laws.
Each year we here at Roadrunner Driving School begin receiving phone calls from students and parents concerned that the minimum driving age has increased to 18 years old before they can get a license of any kind. Matter of fact, I remember this same rumor going around many years ago when I attended Live Oak High School myself. The answer:
There is no law being contemplated or on the books at this point in time.
Robert Stahl, President of the Driving School Association of California, can assure you we have a paid lobbyist in Sacramento and no law has been proposed or is considered at this point in time.
Generally the public gets what it wants in California, and most parents want their kids driving at 16 if they wish, and the reason in most cases is, the parents are happy to not be tied to driving the kids everywhere and welcome the family help.
Actually raising the age to 18 years old although it sounds good in theory it really is not for those who understand the problem. At 16 years old a teen getting a license will be under parental supervision for at least 2 years of driving, gaining hopefully some valuable experience and maturity. At age 18, teens are not often at home and are off to College and learning without parental supervision or training requirements. This puts a young driver out on the road without supervision or guidance.
The sad truth is that the statistics have been going up on the 18 and 19 year olds in fatal or serious accidents as the stats have been dropping on the 16 year olds that are getting trained. The reason is because after 18 there are no mandatory training requirements and youngsters have been waiting until they can turn 18 to avoid paying for training and have the stiffer driving requirements imposed on them.
Many insurance companies now offer a discount to students over 18 if they show proof of Driver Education and/or Driver Training. This helps to ensure they know the rules of the road and can demonstrate them during the practical exam.
While the State of California does not require anyone over the age of 18 to complete these courses, Roadrunner Driving School recommends that anyone preparing to get their license complete these courses for the sake of all drivers out on the road.
As you drive into 2014, be aware of changes in your state, surrounding areas and the impact it could make on how you drive. Beep Beep!
How old were you when you started driving?