One of the biggest rites of passage for all teenagers is obtaining a driver's license. Yet there is no law in effect anywhere in our country that makes it a right for you to have a driver's license. In fact, it is my belief that far too many people have a license in part due to the fact that it is far too easy to obtain said license. Most people who read this post will not agree and some while get downright angry. I'm warning you now. Are you interested in cutting down on traffic, pollution and potentially fatal accidents? Let me share with you a few ideas that just might help. First, raise the minimum age for a license. You have to be 18 to vote, you should have to be 18 to drive. Second, set a maximum age for a driver's license. I think more people would have a problem with a maximum age limit than a minimum one. It's hard to say what that max age should be but unfortunately it is an inexorable fact of life that as we grow older our faculties and reaction times diminish. If you have trouble walking unassisted or tremble or just plain do things slowly, I'm sorry but you should not be behind the wheel of a car.
Perhaps the best step to take though is to have everyone--EVERYONE--re-test for their driver's license at most every 10 years. I just lost 99% of you, didn't I? I admit even I would be a little nervous about having to retest for my license. But that mostly stems from the fact that it has been 20 years since I had to. I likely don't even remember 3/4th of the information I had to remember for my test. And I'm sure many laws have changed without my knowledge. Add to that the fact that I moved to a new state and didn't have to test either. Now, I think I pretty well represent the status quo here in the good old U.S. of A. If so, that means we have a whole lot of potentially unknowledgeable drivers out there. On top of that we have many drivers with diminishing reaction times. Then finally, we have the teenagers. We've all been there. How much attention did you pay to the road as opposed to your friends or the radio when you were 16? I know there is no chance in hell that this would ever happen. Hell, the automobile and oil lobbies in Washington would never allow it, much less the average U.S. citizen. But that doesn't mean it's not a good idea anyways.