The Driving age is too young in New Zealand

Essay by Spookyman166 November 2009

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Countless times on the evening news we all see the headline: “Young driver crashes, killing five.” This is because the driving age is too young in New Zealand. Teenagers should not be allowed to drive because they are immature and hormonally imbalanced which leads to rash decisions and their brains are not developed enough to bear the responsibility and demanding tasks of driving.

A teenager’s brain is not developed enough to handle the tasks of driving. Driving is a very demanding task. It requires hand-feet-eye co-ordination. A person must judge the distance between two moving objects and a teenager’s brain cannot do that as fast as a more mature brain and Scientists have proven that the rear lobe of the brain does not mature until you are twenty-nine years old. This rear lobe is responsible for all reflexes that the body does and at fifteen it is not even close to the maturity needed to be able to control a car.

At eighteen this lobe is still not as mature as it would be at twenty-nine but it is not at al feasible to restrict driving until twenty-nine as it would be restricting the freedom of the general public. Eighteen is a much more sensible age in which a person has more awareness for dangers and can properly assess risks before they are taken. A fifteen year old brain is not developed enough to be able to drive a car responsibly on the road and therefore the driving age in New Zealand must be raised to eighteen because it is just too young at fifteen.

Some teenagers are immature and because of their immaturities like hosting ‘car-parties’ where a teenager driving has other teens in the car yelling and sticking hands, feet and even heads out of the car which is not only dangerous to themselves but other drivers. You do not see many acting this way on the road and this is because teenagers are hormonally imbalanced. This dramatic increase in hormone production leads them to make rash decisions and risks that will ultimately not only kill or seriously injure themselves but others too. The hormones produced during puberty encourage risk taking and fun seeking. This leads to drink driving, speeding and finally a needless loss of young life because teenagers and not mature enough to drive responsibly. It absurd to allow a teenager to put, in danger, their own lives and the lives of others and bear the responsibility of their friends lives at fifteen. The driving age is just too low in New Zealand. It must be raised.

Some may argue that driving teaches teenagers responsibility. They believe that if a teenager is put into the situation to be responsible for their own live, the lives of the passengers and other motorists on the road, the young driver will act in a way that does not harm anyone or put anyone in unnecessary danger. Their argument is flawed. Some teenagers will act responsibly while many will not. Many will host “car-parties” and put, in needless danger, the lives of other motorists. A lot of things teach responsibly and they teach it in a safe manner without endangering the lives of the person and people around them. A dog teaches responsibility, a job teaches responsibility but ‘teaching’ a child responsibility while endangering their own and others lives is not the sensible way to teach responsibility. The driving age in New Zealand is just too young it must be raised because it does not teach responsibility.

In Germany, India, France, Italy, Japan and many other countries around the world the driving age is eighteen. These countries know that a child at fifteen is not capable of controlling a car without significantly endangering other road users. New Zealand needs to follow the example these countries are setting when it comes to teenage drivers. The driving age in New Zealand is too low and it must be raised because too many young drivers are left seriously injured or dead because they are not capable of controlling a car. The driving age must be raised it is just too young in New Zealand.