Photo by PennDOT
Photo by PennDOT
First the drinking age gets a hard look, and now this? An influential auto safety group is calling for states to raise the legal driving age to 18. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety president says the move would be for everyone's own good — car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers. He's presenting the plan at the Governors Highway Safety Association conference today — if states adopt the measure, the ol' 16th birthday might not be as sweet anymore.
Not surprisingly, kids and lots of parents want brakes put on the idea — the loss of freedom for both parties is huge. One mom says, "Do we really want our kids dependent upon parents for virtually everything until they go to college, can vote and serve their country?"
Here are the numbers: more than 5,000 teens die in crashes every year. Those crashes, per mile driven by a 16-year-old is almost 10 times the rate for drivers their parent's ages. Should the US follow Europe (and New Jersey) on this one? Most other industrialized countries in have a driving age of 17 or 18. Is safety (and potentially saving gas or fewer drivers on the road) worth delaying that big key hand-off another year or two?
Lillian Cox, 101, of Tallahassee, FL, won't have to trade in her 1984 sedan for a scooter just yet. The spunky dame has been driving since 1915 and has received the state's blessing to continue to do so for another four years. Her license < a href="http://www.local6.com/news/16422372/detail.html">just got renewed until 2011.
Cox said, "they're surprised that I'd get a driver's license at 101. But I have four more years." Drivers around town might look twice. "I'm sure I look (101 years old) but they don't let me know that," she said while driving around a neighborhood.
She's been invited to the Tonight Show with Jay Leno for her feat — and hopes that she won't have to drive herself. She'd prefer a limo instead.
While Ms. Cox passed her driver's test, is the customary four-year extension a good idea past a certain age? Should additional testing be required for older drivers? After age 90, would a yearly review be a good idea — or should we trust people to know when to turn in the keys?
Maybe more so than other crimes, a convicted sex offender's punishment does not end with jail time served; it follows him onto the National Sex Offender Registry, onto the Internet, and soon, in Tennessee, onto his driver's license.
Starting Sept. 1, all convicted sex offenders in Tennessee must hold a newly designed license. It will bear a mark to notify police of their sex-offender status.
While I don't envision kids at the playground asking candy pushers for ID anytime soon, it wouldn't matter if they did: ID checkers will not (or should not) be able to distinguish the license from any other Tennessean's, because the mark will only be viewable to the trained eye — like a big scarlet letter written in invisible ink.
Proponents say the new law will help ensure the safety of children. If a sexual offender is pulled over, the license will prompt police to watch for signs otherwise ignored in a routine traffic stop. To see the incident behind the law, read more
UrbanBohemian recently dropped me a line to ask a good question: How can you look good in your driver's license photo? That might sound silly, but how many people actually like their ID photos? I rest my case.
Unlike the women on Top Model, you don't get dozens of chances to take the perfect shot. You get one—two, if you're lucky. On top of that, you're likely to be photographed under DMV-standard fluorescent lights, which have the unfortunate effect of zombie-fying just about anybody who enters their cold glare.
But fear not: There are a few pointers for taking good photos. For my list of dos and don'ts, just read more