Tuesday, November 13, 2007

 

Driving after midnight...oh yeah, and without a license

The Post follows up on a tragic accident that killed 17-year old Christian Cruz in Montgomery County early Monday morning. According to the Post report, Mr. Cruz and three high school friends – all aged 15 years old – were together for a sleepover and went out about midnight for some food. Christian’s mother claims he wasn’t driving.

Glossed over in the article is just how unlicensed teenagers get access to a car to drive. Wasn’t there any adult/parental supervision present at the sleepover? If not, why not and if so,…well that’s just too pathetic to think about. But the Post spins the story thusly:

“The cycle of grief recalls fall 2004, when 15 young people died in the span of a month in Washington area crashes involving teenage drivers. A Maryland law enacted in response to those deaths could have prevented two of the most recent wrecks -- including the one that killed Cruz -- if the teens had obeyed it.”

The article goes on to summarize Maryland's 2005 expansion of its "graduated driver's license". But what would the “graduated driver’s license” have done to prevent Mr. Cruz’s death? Nobody in the car was licensed and if the driver was other than Mr. Cruz, then that driver wasn’t even eligible to be licensed. Seems the Maryland law passed decades ago requiring a license to drive should have been more than enough…had the teens obeyed it.

Side Notes: Of course, unlicensed (and uninsured) teenagers driving cars is not a new phenomenon. So, using the logic of such deep thinkers as Eliot Spitzer, maybe we should just give them all licenses. I know I’d then feel safer and more secure.

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