The Instigator
Peanutbutterandjelly
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
pastimpasse
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

driving age should be 21 nationally

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
pastimpasse
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/20/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,063 times Debate No: 31481
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

Peanutbutterandjelly

Pro

in order to reduce fatalities, injures, and property damage cause by the most dangerous groups of drivers, the driving age for getting a license should be raise nationally to 21 years old.
pastimpasse

Con

First of all, good luck, I hope this debate will be constructive and thought provoking. I do not know what structure you intended with this debate but since you have only made an opening statement with your first round I will do the same in an effort to be fair. I believe that dynamic legislation which is tailored to the region is preferable to a rigid age limit of 21 years across the nation.
Debate Round No. 1
Peanutbutterandjelly

Pro

Although I am not sure what you mean by "what structure you intend to take with this debate," I will respond to your statement that dynamic legislation tailored to regions is preferable to a national driving age of 21.
First, I would point out that what is now in place in the USA a confusing mix of hodgepodge laws and regulations which actually has 7 states allowing 14 year old kids to drive, while others not until they are 17 (granted, rural farming states need laws allowing youth to drive farming, small construction equipment, etc., however, this sort of vehicle operation must be more clearly delineated from everyday transportation vehicles.)
Secondly, applying new and dynamic legislation unifying such a confusing mix of laws is not without precedence. Note the uniform drinking age of alcohol instituted in 1984. States need to apply the current GDL (Graduated Driver's License) system to encompass a higher age of drivers.
Additionally. the benefits of successfully incorporating a system which more carefully regulates drivers over 18 would have enormous social and financial benefits:
1) Statistic illustrating the disproportionate culpability of younger drivers in the 14-21 year old age group in fatal accidents is over whelming. "When we look at the research, raising the driving age saves lives," says Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.
2) Using the GDL system to the age of 21 would allow younger inexperienced drivers the chance to complete a longer formal training period before handing over the keys of 2-ton, 100mph vehicle to a 14 year old driver. Currently, California requires only 6 hours of on-the-road driver's education.
3) The saving seen would be epic. Conservatively,over 30,000 lives yearly would potentially be saved. Traffic congestion, gasoline consumption, and air pollution would likely see dramatic reductions.
Lastly, such a uniform vehicle policy would make the job of law enforcement officials easier and safer in ways too numerous to list at this.
Would teens hate? Sure. Would it inconvenience youth and parents? Undoubtedly. But the impact and benefits would be such a net gain that those inconveniences would fade from public consciousness quite quickly.
pastimpasse

Con

Before I even begin discussing the issues posed by the change in licensing age the instigator proposes, I will address the dilemma of imposing a national law on this issue, which should be monitored by the states. You mentioned what was going to be one of my key examples of a necessity for state based laws regarding licensing. You argue that a rigid national law should be in place, but that excludes individuals in agricultural areas and areas with minimal traffic flow that need to have licenses. There is a significant difference between urban traffic and rural traffic and laws need to be tailored accordingly to these differences, not imposed on the states by the federal government. Licensing laws are not one size fits all, different regions necessitate different laws and therefore a federally imposed law would be inefficient and unwise. This is why a national law regarding licensing age has not and most likely will not ever be instituted.
In addition, at 21 many are already in college. Many college students cannot rely on their parents for transportation as they are away from home. The onus of forcing all of these individuals into public education would encumber America"s weak public transportation system far too much. It would be difficult for many college students to attend school and extracurricular events, especially if they lived off campus. It would most likely not only increase truancy and reduce attendance not only college, but high schools as well as busy parents fail to get their children to school. Many high schools, including mine, do not have buses and some students live outside their range. Furthermore, most of those not in colleges are employed by 21. Being without a car would be a significant hindrance to these individuals, and imagine how it would affect college students also working off campus or interning in another city.
Response to 1) A major factor contributing to the statistical fact that younger drivers are more dangerous is the fact that they are inexperienced. Driving necessitates a learning curve. Individuals do mature to some extent between the ages of 17 and 21 but the major deciding factors in how well a driver performs are experience and focus. 21 year olds are not innately adept at maintaining unwavering attention, and the only reason they have more experience behind the wheel is that the current driving laws allow them to acquire this experience. In addition, college age youth are more exposed to dangerous driving situations, being usually unmonitored by parents and more exposed to narcotics that can impair driving, which brings up my next point. Someone agreed in the comments that 21 is also the age individuals are allowed to begin drinking. Although many are exposed to alcohol earlier, this age is the starting point for frequent consumption among the majority of people. The risks of having people simultaneously begin to learn how to use alcohol and cars responsibly are significant.
Response to 2) We could easily begin driver"s education earlier with the current system as well. Perhaps individuals would not be suited to drive full time before 16, but by the instigator"s argument neither are the individuals who would be receiving early drivers education under the proposed law. Therefore, drivers could begin their education early and reap whatever benefits this provides regardless of whether the instigator"s law was passed.
Response to 3) All of the individuals denied licenses by this law would still need to get to the same places. It would conserve resources and reduce congestion on the road due to increased carpooling, but the shock it would cause to America"s often criticized public transportation would overwhelm the system and lead to a debacle in transportation.
Debate Round No. 2
Peanutbutterandjelly

Pro

By the use of the word "rigid" in your explanation of my proposition shows that you may not completely understand what I am proposing. I am not suggesting that 21 be the starting point for gaining driving skills. By implementing a GDL system to the age of 21 age, college students would still be able to drive to school. However, such a system might necessitate them not driving on weekends, or perhaps after 10pm, the hours and days when many of the statistical data shows these fatal accidents occur. The experience necessary for driving at night and on weekends could be better gained while another, more experienced driver is sitting in the passenger seat. Having a 20-year old driver only driving after 10pm while in the company of another driver who has, for example, 10 years or more experience would dramatically reduce the opportunity for drinking, use of narcotics, and driving or excessive speeding.
Also, you proposal of starting driver education even earlier is not a sound idea. Having Little Johnny learn how to drive even earlier than 15 or 16 would only invite complication. As research shows, young minds are hardly more attentive and emotionally mature in youth. If, however, such instruction were given at the age of 18, one could easily assume it would fall onto more receptive and attentive ears.
Finally, the shock that you suggest our public transportation system would suffer if there were more participating youth would simply not materialize. As it stands now, most public traffic transportation is woefully under utilized. I ask you, how many times have you seen buses only a third full, or seen bike racks at shopping malls completely unused? We could well take a lesson from many other bike using countries (Denmark, Japan, etc.) by demand our youth put down electronics and pedal to school. No, I am still strong in my belief that a GDL system that encompasses older youth, to the age of 21, would have many me benefits than drawbacks. It is just a shame that our voting populace may never see the forest for the trees, and tens of thousands of people will continue to die on the battlefield that has become our nations highways and roads. In deed, more death occur in these battles than our actual wars!
pastimpasse

Con

My use of the word "rigid" indicates that I completely understood the instigator's original statement and the title of this debate. Both are indicative of a system in which drivers cannot drive on their own at all until age 21. If he meant that provisional licensing that allows weekday driving should available before 21, he probably should have made that clear because that is an entirely different case.
Starting driver's education earlier is not necessary. As I mentioned, the current system of training is effective. The best way to gain experience driving is to be out on the road, and our current system allows a year of training on the road with an older driver to impart some experience before drivers set out on their own. However, if one wanted more extensive training mandated (this seems one of the instigator's reasons for a belated licensing) it could still be done with the current driving age. The fundamental aspects of driving could be instilled at an earlier age. I assure you that "Little Johnny" can drive around an empty parking lot without posing an imminent threat to society even if he is only 15.
The instigator did not respond to another point which is integral to the argument against a later driving age being implemented nationally. This point is the fact that driving laws are the prerogative of state legislatures, not the national government. As I mentioned, the exceptionally diverse nature of our nation necessitates legislature which can be tailored to fit the region in which it is implemented. A national law does not allow this. For example, with a national law, people in rural areas who need to be able to operate vehicles and farm equipment at a younger age and should be able to do so due to reduced traffic and therefore a safer driving environment would be deprived of their rights on the road.
Furthermore, empty buses do not indicate that we have an adequate public transportation system to support a massive influx of people. First of all, there are many regions where public transportation is not underutilized and buses, trolleys, and subways are often packed like sardine cans. In addition, there is far more to having an adequate public transportation system than simply having enough seats. Our current public transportation system requires individuals to waste a considerable amount of time that could be saved by driving, with the exceptions of a few efficient systems, such as the subways of New York City. Not only is our current system a time sink, it also is not nearly extensive enough. In urban areas, buses allow transportation to many denizens of the city. However, the instigator continues to ignore the many Americans who live in the outskirts of suburban areas and rural areas and do not have access to any form of public transportation. American infrastructure is built around the personal automobile. Roads abound but access to public transportation in many areas does not. People cannot be expected to bike dozens of miles every morning to make it to a train to make it to a bus to make it, after a devious path with dozens of stops, to their workplace. Perhaps those of us living in urban hubs with access to copious buses and trolleys could easily manage with a later driving age, but the many youth not privileged to enjoy such opportunities could not.
The instigator asserted that his revision of the driving age could serve as an opportunity for more people to begin biking. However, biking is not a suitable form of transportation for many people. Biking can be a great means of getting exercise and getting around, but not at any kind of distance for many people. The time and effort required to bike to work every day would be excessive for many and make it exceptionally difficult for those who are not in shape to pursue their professions.
In conclusion, there are benefits that might be reaped by postponing licensing a few more years in some areas. However, in most areas they are outweighed by the negative consequences and impracticalities posed. In some areas such a law might be worth considering, but it should never be implemented nationally as this would deprive many citizens of their driving privileges unnecessarily and would not allow for the flexibility necessary in a law which pertains to exceptionally diverse regions.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by safebug 4 years ago
safebug
i agree.....
Posted by drhead 4 years ago
drhead
And what makes you think that it will be better when people become of legal age to drive and of legal age to drink at the same time?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by safebug 4 years ago
safebug
PeanutbutterandjellypastimpasseTied
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Total points awarded:34 
Reasons for voting decision: you see, im young and i cant WAIT to drive. sorry peanutbutterandjelly........... and yes, what happens when all of a sudden people can drink AND drive!!?!?