Young driver bill in the high-speed lane

A bill that would increase driver education and further limit so-called "junior drivers" is getting the fast track on Beacon Hill. Now, don't get me started about the fact that the real story is that Beacon Hill is moving some quickly on a meaningful piece of legislation. Usually only congratulatory resolutions for 90th birthdays get that special treatment.

This bill, reported in today's Globe, is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't go far enough, and it appears that one key enforcement component is going to be cut out. That component would allow cops to pull over drivers who look like junior operators to make sure they weren't in violation of their special regulations.

I took learning to drive seriously. I didn't want the embarrassment of failing the driving test. My friends and I knew all who failed and we all snickered about it. I didn't want that fate, so I studied. But not all my friends did, and it's apparent now that most other drivers don't. Otherwise I wouldn't have this blog.

If I were on the committee considering this bill, I would insist that the provision to allow junior operators to be stopped should be included. Junior operators are under 18, and although they are subject to the same rights and privileges under the Constitution, they are a special class of driver who should be subject to review. Driving is a privilege. It takes skill and time to master. I am a good driver, but far from the best, and I've been driving for nearly 15 years.


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