New teen driving restrictions prove ineffective


Keason Holeham

Times change, six months is now one year, midnight is now 11pm, and teen drivers are upset. As of Jan. 1, a new law requires teens to have their license for a year before driving with those under 20 or past 11 p.m. What’s wrong with this picture?

Those who advocate the law believe that it will decrease the number of deaths attributed to teenage drivers, yet many teens see it as nothing but a spiteful solo driving rule that will hinder free time activities.

Though we understand the reasoning behind the curfew, we feel that it is overly harsh.  With an 11 p.m. curfew, an 8:30 p.m. movie is out of the question for the night’s plans.

The early curfew will likely do one of two things. Either teens will ignore the curfew and stay out late anyway, or they will rush home at 10:59 p.m. and do it in a relatively unsafe fashion.

Besides limiting the night life of Marin youth, how else will this law affect us?  We already have very limited parking around campus; imagine what our parking situation would look like if the only people who could carpool were seniors.

Chaos. That’s where we’re headed. The parking lots will be overflowing; the cars parked on Saunders will spill out onto San Anselmo Ave. and nearby side streets.  Neighbors of the school will likely protest the sheer volume of cars parked outside their houses.

And let’s not forget, more solo drivers mean more cars on the road.  Traffic will increase, and with an increase in traffic comes an increase in accidents, the very thing this law seeks to prevent.

And what of the environment? As we are beginning to accept the theory of global warming as true, as we are clamoring for more fuel efficient cars, what are we doing-forcing teens to drive to school, doubling and possibly tripling the number of cars on the road. With cards come more fuel emissions and more pollution.

Furthermore, the greater volume of cars will lead to a greater consumption of gas. In a state whose average gas price is the sixth highest in the nation, it is not a good idea to double our gas consumption.

We feel that this new teen driving law will have many unforeseen consequences, and may not accomplish its goal to lower teen accidents.