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Safety experts: State driver's license age too low

I have lived on a farm and had kids go through drivers ed. For those struggling family farms, the 14 year old kid is someone else to back up the trailer to pick up animals, help move/exchange implements, fuel up the vehicles for the days work, etc. But, back then, we had to have a tractor safety certificate and a learner's permit. Since it was before the age of driver's ed, the DMV had the responsiblity of 'road testing' the kid. And if you were caught moving equipment on the road without the license and certificate either in the cab or on your person, the local sheriff had no problem dishing out tickets with fines. Driver's Ed rolled around, did all the driving with the coaches (their summer job), had to pass the written with a 80% or better, then you could get your restricted. Turned into a regular license when you were 16 (the restricted expired at that point and you had to go in and get the 'picture' one).

Now the kids have drivers ed out here in Eudora for 2 hours a day (testing, written work, etc) and some driving during the summer. My kid has her log and just like her siblings before her, you have to fill out the time they drive and get them a learner's permit.

Like many other scary moments with our kids, some parents assume that it is 'accepted' or that their child will be shunned if they do not have their own transportation at 16.

I think a compromise can be reached where their are some restrictions placed on kids (especially in more populated areas) until they are 17 or 18. Most states back east or in the rust belt don't want those additional cars on the road and limit the kids to driving later. But you have still a rural population here, and some allowances will have to be made, regardless of where the kids work. That is unfortunate, but sometimes the only option for those kids is to help with the family farm or contribute to the household financially.

Didn't they used to ban freshman with cars from the KU campus? How else can we educate the kids here and coming into the community? Because education of both parents and kids is needed to change the direction on this statistic.

August 21, 2006 at 12:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Laws ignored

We went through this business when we lived in Colorado. Excited that people are cycling and yet frightened of ignorance that causes death/accidents. Same situation different decade. Boulder has bike lanes and does give tickets to those who violate the laws that govern everyone on the road. No one is an island and actions affect others, whether you want to or not. I hate having to introduce my learning permit kid to this when she is just learning, but I guess that is part of the process. Coming up on a hill with no shoulder and a bicyclist over the crest is a scary lesson! But when I get her to slow down, then pass (when she can legally) to get 'the bird' from said cyclist is really depressing. Talking to her about 'sharing the road' and respecting everyone else on it gets a little undermined at that point.

August 8, 2006 at 1:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sometimes, the KSHSAA just doesn't get it

I agree that sometimes KSHSAA just doesn't get it. It is an organization of humans, and therefore not a perfect one. However, as a parent of a past high school student, the thought of mandatory high school bball practices during christmas and new years irritates me beyond belief, and mandatory practice on those dates would happen if games were allowed to be scheduled during that time. I know that family time is a momentum killer during basketball/wrestling season, but it had to fall sometime, and unfortunately that's when it lands. And not everyone has the opportunity to stay home, as a lot of older family members should not be out driving/exposed to bad weather during that time. Sorry about the bad bowl games, but scheduling high school games during the Holidays isn't really a viable entertainment option.

May 16, 2006 at 9:09 a.m. ( | suggest removal )