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Young Drivers

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Warning, this link is a bit sobering. It is not directly scout related, but I thought I'd share it with this forum as many of us have sons/daughters who have either just gotten a driver's license or will shortly, or there are youth members in that catagory.

 

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=677&e=24&u=/usatoday/20050301/bs_usatoday/deadlyteenautocrashesshowapattern

 

 

SA

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I guess this is why G2SS says 16-18yr old scouts cannot drive to scout functions, except venturers

 

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OJ is sixteen and will be seventeen in July. He has his permit to drive. He can't wait to take his test.

Her That Must Be Obeyed and myself are the meanest, nastiest parents. We unlike many of his pals parents didn't buy him a car for his birthday. He was hoping I would give him my Explorer. Worse still we have said that we are not willing to pay the $1,000 it is going to take to insure him.

He wants to drive real bad - So bad that he is going to work at summer camp. Something that he vowed he would never do.

While we know that the day is going to come and we know that if we are going to believe in all the good stuff that he has got out of being a Scout, we have to trust him. We have to believe that he will obey the rules and be a courteous and kind driver.

I love that kid so much that at times the idea of him coming to any harm hurts. He is a good Lad. I don't worry about drugs or alcohol. But him driving and showing off to his pals scares the beejeebers out of me.

When the time comes and we know it will I only hope that Saint Christopher is putting in a lot of overtime.

Eamonn.

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Eamonn,

 

As a father who just went through a similar situation with my older son, I understand your angst. My wife and I vigourously enforced the legal requirements of our state, limiting the time our new driver could drive and who was allowed to ride in his car even though these laws are very poorly enforced in our area.(In Massachusetts 16 year olds may not drive after midnight and are not allowed to have other teens in the car unless there is an adult >21, the only exception is siblings) We did break down and allow him to have a car of his own during his senior year in HS. He was one of the last kids in his class to have a car I think. At that point he was 17 1/2 and had at least a year of driving under his belt. I made a point of having him drive with me whenever we could. Running errands, short family trips, etc. so he would get experience behind the wheel. He earned the $$ for it and pays for the additional insurance required.

 

Having read the article I'm glad we did what we did. I still get a little anxious when he heads out of the driveway, but I now trust him as a reasonably good driver. Next year I get to do it all over again with No. 2 son.

 

SA

 

 

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Actually, nldscout, 16 year old youth members can drive under these conditions (as excerpted from the G2SS). Venturers are treated no differently than any other BSA participant.

 

Vicki

 

Automobiles

 

General guidelines are as follows:

 

An adult leader (at least 21 years of age) must be in charge and accompany the group.

 

The driver must be currently licensed and at least 18 years of age. Youth member exception: When traveling to and from an area, regional, or national Boy Scout activity or any Venturing event under the leadership of an adult (at least 21 years of age) tour leader, a youth member at least 16 years of age may be a driver, subject to the following conditions:

Six months' driving experience as a licensed driver (time on a learner's permit or equivalent is not to be counted)

No record of accidents or moving violations

Parental permission granted to the leader, driver, and riders

 

 

 

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Vicki,

A 16 to 18 yr old Boy Scout Cannot drive to any events that are not an area, regional, or national Boy Scout activity. That lets out all troop activities, trips, outings, everything. Narrowly construed it could also mean Troop meetings. A 16 yr old venturer can drive anywhere to anything if they meet those 3 rules

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Eamonn, I am very sympathetic with your anxiety and I hope you never have to actually experience anything like that for real. The memory of my daughter being loaded into an ambulance, and the rest of my family hospitalized, burns in mind. Drunk driver crossed centerline, 0800, family on way to school, head-on collision. Drunk uninsured. Life changed forever. Years of litigation and medical attention. Family doing OK today.

 

I am keenly aware of the young driver statistics. Occasionally, I invite representatives from MADD to make a special presentation to the CO and committee. I hope it causes them to think carefully.

Occasionally I catch one of the boys doing something stupid in an auto. I let him know that there are other people besides parents who care about their driving safety. It usually works for a while, anyway.

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I drive a commercial motor vehicle. (Semi)

Today I pulled 205,000 pounds of Ammonium Nitrate.(fertilizer that blew up OKC)

I was cut off twice by high school girls who were late to class.

My daughter drove the same way. Then I took her in the semi.

My suggestion is to contact one of these trucking companies.(food delivery,local,or over the road) ANY of them will let you climb up & see the view,if not even take you out on the road. Too prevent ONE accident is worth it to them. Have an open mind when it takes

100 yards minimum to stop an 80,000# truck.

Then driving a car is pretty easy.

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I still have a couple of years before I will need to wory about this. I do, however, worry about the other young drivers that I see daily. A car full of teenagers was just killed within a mile of my house. It seems that parents can't wait to put there kids behind the wheel.

 

I started driving at 16, and I can honestly say that I was not mature enough to be driving unsupervised.

 

Has anyone out there concidered GPS monitering of your teenagers. I have seen systems for under $400 that will track speed/location of a vehicle. If my folks had this kind of data, I would have been a lot more carefull. Before anyone jumps on me about the "trust" or "privacy" issues, take a gander at your local obituaries. If you live in any decent sized town, it won't take you long to find casualties of young / unsupervised drivers.

 

CE

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CaveEagle, I'm thinking the legal age should be changed back to 21. Including the driver's license. Cheaper than the GPS fix.

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It is not so much about the age as it is about the experience.

 

I grew up in South Dakota where the driving age was 14 (sunrise to sunset). By 16, most of the kids had acquired a healthy appreciation for driving more safely. My younger brother opted to wait until he was 17 (ancient by local standards). He still went through the same skill building delay that all new drivers go through.

 

I think rather than arbitrary age limits, the maturity, intellect, and ability of the driver should be of paramount importance. I would rather see a comprehensive driving test done in a simulator. That way you can put the driver in a host of situations and see how they react without endangering lives.

 

Irresponsibility is not strictly an age thing. If it was, we would have strict rules allowing only those 35-45 to drive. Everyone else is either too young, or too old. :)

 

 

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Torveaux, I was driving a school bus at 16. And it was completely irresponsible for the state to allow me and my co-drivers to do that. We were very experienced but very unconscious of the responsiblity attached to the job.

I agree that today experience is a major factor. And today the young people I see in this area do not have the experience level that we acquired in the rural setting decades ago. That said, my concern mostly relates to the recent revelations regarding cognitive development (and this goes to the maturity, etc. factors you mention) for young people into their early 20's. That, combined with lack of experience and other factors, is the nature of the age issue for me.

We use an arbitrary age cutoff now because of the difficulties assessing those maturity factors individually. As we learn more about the developmental processes associated with 'maturity' we may be able to establish a more reasonable, less-arbritrary age limit.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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nldscout, thank you for the clarification. I will say our council is vague as to what constitutes an area event. As a matter of troop policy we don't allow 16 year olds to drive, period.

 

Packsaddle, I've been following those studies you're talking about - they make a lot of sense. I hope it leads to some much needed reform in this area. Unfortunately, many parents are lobbying against any change. I can't speak to their motivation(s) but I think it can only be short-sighted at best.

 

Vicki

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An Area in scouting is a Part of the region you are in, like an administrative district. In the Northeast Rergion where I am there are 4 area's. The OA uses area boundries to determine what section you are in.

 

The only area events that I know of are those OA section events, like conclave.

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Vicki, the drunk that hit my family was 42 so there's never absolute certainty. But the local roads and highways in my area are littered with crosses and memorials to the local deaths. Nearly all of them memorialize teenagers. I too have to wonder about the mindset of parents who resist revisions to the way we permit drivers.

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