The Graduated Driver License The Graduated Driver License (GDL) is a law that is aimed to reduce teen driving deaths. This law goes into affect July 1, 2001. The new driving law is made up of 3 main restrictions. These parts are: 1. For the first six months after issuance of an Intermediate Drivers License, the holder of the license may not have any passengers in the car under the age of 20, except for members of the holders immediate family.
2. After the first six months, the holder may not have more than three passengers in the car under the age of 20, except for members of the holders immediate family. 3. The holder of an Intermediate Drivers License may not operate a vehicle between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. except when the holder is accompanied by a parent, guardian, or a licensed driver who is at least twenty-five years of age.
These restrictions remain on a driver with the Intermediate Drivers License until they are 18 or if after the first 12 months the holder has not been involved in an automobile accident and has not committed or been convicted of traffic offenses or violations of the license restrictions. The Graduated Driver License law is an infringement on civil rights. Our country has a history of refusing the rights of its people. African Americans were not allowed to sit in the front of a public bus, they were not allowed to use restrooms that were reserved for the White population, and they were not allowed to vote. All of these “laws” and policies were placed on them because it was believed that African Americans were a lesser people, they were considered inferior to the Caucasian race.
Our history also teaches that women were once considered to be less then men. They could not own land; if they had inherited land and married, their husband was immediately given ownership of their lands. All the children a woman gave birth to were considered the property of their husbands. It was unacceptable for a woman to work once she married and the jobs they were allowed to take were limited to teaching or house keeping of some kind, such as being a maid. What was the reasoning behind these limitations being placed on women? The majority of men believed that woman were not capable of handling the responsibilities that men held, they did not think woman had enough intelligence to make wise choice so they were not allowed to vote. There have been many books written about African American suffrage and womans suffrage.
This law expresses the same ideas shown to woman and African Americans in the past. Once again the majority has decided that just because a person is under the age of 18 they are not intelligent enough or responsible enough to handle driving a car which millions of Americans have the right to do every day. As with any gender, race, and ethnicity there are always a few who do not follow laws or act in a responsible manor, however, that is no excuse to refuse rights to any group regardless of age. Refusing our rights is not the way to save lives. They should make and enforce tougher punishments for those that violate the laws that govern drivers of all ages.
If this law is passed I predict there will be a new suffrage movement. Teens can band together to fight the hypocrisy, which is our political right set forth by our forefathers. I am aware that we are not allowed to vote until the age of 18 but we can still make it clear to our legislature that although we are young, we will vote in three short years and we will not forget those who voted for the law that will take away our freedom. As millions of Woman and African Americans once did, we will fight for our civil rights! By Tabitha Smith.