Provisional licenses need to be mandatory

Staff Editorial

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While Shakespeare may argue that some people are born great, not many people are born great drivers. 

To be a great driver requires time, practice, and a decent level of coordination.

Since most people require time to practice this skill, The Californian thinks it is reasonable for all new drivers to hold a provisional license in spite of age. 

According to Assembly Bill 63 introduced by Jim Frazier (D-Oakley), the state would impose restrictions on all new drivers under the age of 21 during their first year of driving under a provisional license.

Even with all the inconvenience this new proposed law would present for young adults who decide to get their licenses later than their counterparts, The Californian still believes that the law is a logical way to prevent teen driving accidents.  

Current law only enforces provisional license restrictions for new drivers under the age of 18.

This new driving adult would also be prohibited from operating a vehicle between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., a restriction only 16-17 year olds face their first year of driving.

But new drivers who are 18-20 years olds have a far higher accident rate, about 60 percent higher than 16- or 17-year-old drivers who went through the process of a provisional license, according to CBS News.

On top of this staggering statistic, car accidents are the leading cause of death for American teens.

But there are logical exceptions to this proposed bill.

If a first-year driver is required to operate a vehicle during late hours that are restricted by his or her provisional license, they can possibly be granted an exemption to the restrictions.

They can also drive around with other underage family members if they have a signed note from their parents.

By granting new drivers such exceptions when needed, the new bill proves to be a necessary precaution rather than an inconvenience for new drivers.

While this new law may seem to be disadvantageous to new drivers, it will ensure safety among the community and provide a buffer of time for new drivers to become safer on the road. 

Age is a number, even if it may be a cultural milestone. It is reasonable for any new driver, regardless of age, to be given an appropriate amount of time to get used to driving.

A provisional license should be a rite of passage for all drivers, not just those fresh-out-driving 16 year olds.