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February 28, 2009

Driver's Ed: When Kids Start Asking for the Keys

Neal Templin:

Driving is the ultimate mixed blessing.

Cars permit us to zip around most American cities in a way no public transit system ever could. We rely on them to go to work. To do our shopping. To see friends.

But owning a car is also expensive. For most of us, a decent chunk of the money we earn goes to pay for our wheels. Once we start driving, we begin to lock ourselves into a more expensive lifestyle that requires us to earn more money.

These same forces are at play when our kids start driving. It's a big step toward making them into full-fledged adults early -- for better and for worse.

Two of my three children have hit the driving age with very different outcomes. Now, my youngest child is 17, and he's eager to grab the wheel.

My views on driving were shaped growing up in the 1960s and early 1970s in Southern California. Only a handful of kids at my high school had their own cars. The rest of us walked or rode our bikes to school, or maybe we got a lift with someone when we were seniors.

Still, most of my friends got their license when they were 16 years old. Many of them already knew how to drive years before they got a license. Not me.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at February 28, 2009 1:01 AM
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