An 18-year-old Minnesota woman got the attention of police when she hit a parked car Jan. 18.
It happened shortly after midnight as the woman and her 17-year-old passenger backed out of an apartment complex. They fled the scene but were pulled over, and the driver was given a sobriety test. She flunked. Police arrested her for driving under the influence, while her friend got ticketed for underage consumption.
They pretty much guaranteed they’d get caught since the car they backed into was a police cruiser.
Fewer teens driving: Much has been written about fewer teens getting their license to drive nowdays. A news story out of Maryland confirms the trend.
While many point at the Internet as the culprit, saying that teens are connected online and don’t need wheels to socialize, some cite other reasons.
Maryland’s motor-vehicle regulations require young drivers to wait nine months after completing a 36-hour driving course before they receive their license. That time alone cuts into school and activities.
Public school officials note that in-school drivers education classes were discontinued in 1993 to save money. Today, teens must be more purposeful about finding driver training, which is less convenient than when it was offered on campus.
Others cite the simple fact that driving and insuring a car is expensive, so many kids opt for public transportation instead.
Similar factors apply in the Northwest, where in-school driver training has gone from the norm to the exception.
Teen restriction proposed: In off-road news, a bill has been introduced in the Washington State Senate that would restrict people under age 18 from using tanning beds.
Not unlike graduated driver’s-license laws, the bill’s intent is to lessen teen fatalities.
Frequent use of tanning beds boosts the risk of getting deadly melanoma, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People younger than 35 who tan increase their risk by 75%, and the typical tanning-bed customers are young white women, according to the CDC.
If the bill passes, businesses that allow people under 18 to tan could be fined $250 per violation.