So my 16 year old daughter wanted to go play miniature golf this afternoon with three friends. “Tyler” and “Luke” both have their licenses, and she and “Emma” both have their permits. No problem, right? Well, no, because Indiana has provisional driving laws, which state that, for six months after you get your license:
“You may not drive with passengers for 180 days after getting your license, unless you are also accompanied by a licensed instructor, an individual with a valid Indiana driver’s license who is 25 years or older, or a parent, guardian, or step-parent who is 21 years or older. You may drive with your child, sibling, or spouse during the hours allowed by law.”
(Your spouse?!? You can be married and still not allowed to drive with them in your car?)
Well, maybe that’s not so bad, you’d say. But what about:
"You may not drive between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for 180 days after getting your license.
After you have driven for 180 days, you may not drive during the following hours:
Saturday and Sunday, between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, after 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, before 5 a.m. "
Really??!! My daughter and her friends, all of them good, smart, kids, can’t drive a car after midnight on weekends? They have an exception for “work, school, or a religious event” but that’s it. So, if you have a divorced parent that you were hanging out with, you can’t drive home after 11 or 12? No trips to, say, Great America or a concert that might get out after midnight?
Clearly, the purpose of these laws is to control teenager’s behavior. All of the research I’ve done shows that the highest crash and fatality rates fall into the 20-24 year old age range, so maybe they’re the ones who need this kind of babysitting.
I have a friend who thinks they should all ride bicycles. I can’t imagine sending my kid on a bicycle on back roads with poor visibility and then busy roads with lots of traffic is any safer than sending them all in a car with a licensed driver who has passed all the exams and logged all of the driving time required. Not to mention, in most non-city areas, you’d be talking about a two-hour round trip ride for them.
I feel bad for my daughter - she’s the one who’s going to have to decide what to do about this. My husband and I have already told her that we will not enforce those laws, and we will help her fight them if need be, but she’s the one who’s going to pay the consequences if she gets caught.
Fuck these laws - I have yet to see any good data that indicates these laws save lives. The Baby Boomers sure turned into pussies…