Thursday, February 4, 2010
Make the Driving Age Younger
The Frank family calendar sits on the corner of our kitchen counter-top, and two days ago I updated it for February. As I moved through each week I realized that the days for February are awfully colorful. Red for my husband, blue for me, green for Nate, orange for Haley and purple for Kiana. It looks pretty, but what it really means is that we are outrageously busy this month. A keen observer would note that there is hardly any purple, and that is partially purposeful. That poor third kid is barely scheduled for anything but rather she is toted from event to event for the older siblings. It is not because she does not want to be doing something, it is because we do not have a third driver to get her places.
We knew this would happen. When we were contemplating having that third kid, we talked about how we were going to have to give up our man-to-man defense for zone coverage. What we didn't anticipate was how the zone would work to physically get each kid to where they need to go.
I had an enlightening dream the other night, however, and so I think I have come up with a solution. In my dream, Nate was driving in a beautiful little go-cart, complete with helmet and padded bumpers. He was waving at me with a huge grin as he was heading off to practice. His bag and stick were hanging on the back of his tiny car. In the dream I felt not an ounce of trepidation. I was elated that I was free to take Kiana to something just for her.
I have not yet checked in to the legislative requirements for starting a petition, but I am pretty confident that there will be a number of families, especially those who have more than two active kids, who would support a proposal to have the driving age designated for eleven-year-olds. If Nate is able to get his license by the time he is eleven, that will be perfectly timed for the inevitable scheduling of our littlest, and it will solve so many problems (in our house at least!)
Relax...relax. I know what you are thinking...but I have thought of that too. What in the world would they drive? The auto makers are struggling right now, and when they start the "small car" line to deal with the demand of the younger drivers, it will most certainly save the economy too. I modestly admit that this is by far one of my more brilliant ideas!
I know that the science suggests that the sixteen-year-old brains are not even developed enough to be driving cars safely, and we give them licenses, so really, what difference would it make if the brains are just slightly less developed than those hormone-crazed teens?
The positive arguments for the younger driving age generally outweigh the negatives for me, and when our lives become a bit less busy than they are now, I will pursue the legal route to get the driving age lowered. Looking ahead at our calendars, it is probable that I will finally have some time to make some headway with this in about....6 years or so, and by then...Nate will be 16 and....well, I guess I wouldn't have to do it then. Oh well, it's still a good idea.