Safety Group Asks State To Raise Driving Age
Florida teenagers may have to wait an extra two years to get a driver's license.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is asking Florida, along with other states, to raise the legal driving age from 16 to 18. While car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers, Governor Charlie Crist isn't convinced the change is necessary. â€œI got my license when I was 16 years old, and I enjoyed having it, so I don't see any need for a change,â€ Crist said.
Savvanh Kelly, 16, doesn't think changing the driving age to 18 will make a difference either, especially because 18-year-olds are more confident with their driving abilities. â€œThey think they can do so much, while 16-year-olds are scared,â€ Kelly said. â€œThey don't want to have their parents take away their keys.â€
17-year-old Ashlynne Feely said she helps her mom drive her brothers and sisters to class, instead of depending on her mom for rides, too. â€œShe has three other kids as well...so with me being able to drive I was also able to help her out,â€ Feely said.
Florida Highway Patrol Captain Mark Welch said the main concern for state troopers is drunk drivers, with 21-year-olds being the largest group to be involved in fatal accidents. In 2006, 42 people who reached the legal drinking age died on Florida's roads. â€œThe focus of the Florida Highway Patrol has been on the impaired driver because of the wake of destruction they leave behind,â€ Welch said. While Floridians may not see an increase in the driving age, Florida Highway Patrol hopes to make the roads safer. The agency will soon launch a Web site to help teenagers become safer drivers.
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