By: Lucy Panicacci
Local News Editor
Following the cries and demands of parents, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) released new regulations for minors with a driver’s license. The DMV hopes these new rules and requirements will assuage parents’ anxieties and keep our youth safe on the roads.
After new drivers pass their test, the DMV will install new features in each car to ensure safety. All new drivers will have a large two by four sign stating, “NEW DRIVER. PLEASE BE PATIENT,” fit on the roof of the vehicle. Each vehicle will also contain a new sound system of signals and sirens. One of the features of this new sound system is a warning siren that will play when a new driver is within 40 feet of neighboring cars, alerting others to pay attention to their surroundings. When approaching a red light or a pedestrian crossing, a recording of the driver’s parents will urgently repeat “Stop!” over and over to remind the new driver to halt in case they forgot.
To prevent new drivers from riding with passengers under the age of 25, a timer on the side of the car will indicate how long they have had their license, counting up until they reach a year. During the restricted 11 PM to 5 AM no driving period, the car will deactivate and refuse to turn on. Every time you attempt to turn the car on, the speakers will blast the sounds of a DMV representative harshly scolding you.
In addition to new car features, the DMV will also enforce a new set of rules. For the first six months of having your license, you cannot actually drive by yourself. A person over the age of 25 will have to accompany you as you drive, and no one under the age of 25 can be in the car. The DMV has found that new drivers cannot be trusted while they are driving, even though they have their license. If you do drive by yourself before the six month period, the statistics from some website show you have a 99 percent chance of getting in a life-altering or fatal car accident.
During the first six months, the driver cannot play music in the car above the volume one, where the music is just audible enough to hear that something is playing, but not enough to distinguish any lyrics or words. Absolutely no conversations besides driving corrections or directions can occur. Until you turn 18, you cannot drive the freeway unless accompanied by a parent or guardian who will tell you exactly when to merge.
Getting your driver’s license seems exciting, but what if you rear-end a vehicle or knock off a car mirror or scratch your car or your car hydroplanes and flips over or your car suddenly explodes? Not so exciting now, right? So while these new rules might seem too restrictive and unreasonable, they are absolutely necessary to the safety of new drivers.