If teens are driving, they can afford own training

Regarding a bill in the Legislature to help teens get driver’s education, “pay for it” is what is meant. Again, as we once did, until the Legislature decided otherwise, but that was early-on in the push to get drivers out of their vehicles and into public transportation, so support for driver training in schools lagged and the funding was phased out.

This reversal smacks of more virtue signaling coming from our current batch of locally elected representatives in Olympia, as with the recent legislative effort to reduce the legal blood-alcohol limit from 0.08 to 0.05.

With a drastically reduced police force, a marginalized police enforcement capability, and, when every discretionary action by local and state police officers is also scrutinized by an assemblage of untrained, unqualified people that are unaccountable to the general public of Washington state, and who’s agenda is not in the best interest of enforcement of the law or the safety of the traveling public, but rather, the feelings of the law breaker. The expectation being what exactly?

Perhaps in the interim, efforts streamlining access to public transportation, and usage (something along the lines of accessibility, current free bus passes for students, and the marginalized perhaps expanded to include carpool, Uber/Lyft and taxi service), should be explored before we dump more dollars where they really don’t need to be spent.

If the goal truly is to reduce the use of SUVs, I would ask: if the affordability of driver training is beyond the reach of 16 and 17 year olds, how is it they can come up with the monies to buy a car, pay for under-25, high-risk insurance, the required gas and oil to operate the vehicle and maintenance and service?

Rich Needham


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