« Funny t-shirts Friday open thread | Main | place your bets »

April 07, 2011

Comments

I don't see these restrictions as really solving the problem. It's easy to say that teenagers are getting into these accidents because they're irresponsible, but I'd bet the primary cause is simple inexperience.

Gillibrand's bill specifies that teens won't even be able to qualify for a permit until they're sixteen--a delay which would just compound the inexperience problem.

I think a better solution would be to offer learners permits much earlier, and require a full years worth of driving experience before a permit holder qualifies for a drivers license.

I'd base the night rules not on age but on tests of actual eyesight. My own driving licence (the least used in all the country I presume) only contains a restriction that I have to wear glasses* (or equivalent) while driving but it would be justified to add one that would restrict me driving by night. I am 38 but I gain night vision slowly and lose it quickly.
---
There could be rules limiting the top speed for youngsters or require warning markers, if the driver has not yet reached the 'full' licence. Over here one can obtain the latter but it is volontary not mandatory (except for cars belonging to driving schools).

*textbook regular astigmatism, otherwise my eyesight is perfectly normal or even slightly above average.

I'd make it some specific time than try to link it to 'night'. I'd be interested to see how it is enforced in the places where that is part of the law.

As I understand it, the traditional reason for these lower ages was that on farms, kids had to learn how to drive because they would be called on to help on the farm, so I assume that some senators might not necessarily be doing this against a first time Dem senator, but because they feel some attachment to that image (that is one definition of conservative, right?) Unfortunately, it is very difficult to sort out how much that is the case. Here are one link that kind of underlines the problems in definition.

Under this definition, the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s 2007 Census of Agriculture reported that family farms account for almost 96 percent of the 2,204,792 farms in the United States.

The census makes the following useful distinctions among these family farms, based initially on their gross annual sales:

Very large family farms (101,265) gross over $500,000
Large family farms (86,551) gross between $250,000 and $500,000
Small family farms (1,925,799) gross under $250,000
...

No classification is ideal, particularly when social factors are involved, but the above typology allows for interesting comparisons across the United States with a focus on the diverse goals and needs of farm families. Using another approach, a recent analysis of U.S. farms, based on household economic theory rather than gross sales, identifies six mutually exclusive farm types by including non-farm income and decisionmaking at the household rather than the farm level (“A New U.S. Farm Household Typology: Implications for Agricultural Policy.” B. C. Briggeman, Gray, A.W., Morehart, M. J., Baker, T.G., and Wilson, C.A. Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 29, #4).

...

Several, inter-related issues must be considered when discussing the long-term viability of the nation’s family farms. The good news is that after decades of decline the number of family farms has grown by about 4 percent. But how sustainable are these new operations?

Most of the increase is in small operations with annual sales less than $1,000 and where no one enterprise makes up 50 percent of the farm. These new farms tend to be smaller (annual sales less than $1,000), with younger operators, and greater reliance on off-farm income than more established operations. The Ag Census also shows a small increase in the number of large and very large family and non-family farms, and a slight decrease in other classes, leading to a concern about the loss of mid-level farms, noted by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

I'm not sure how it plays out, but it is interesting, I went to school with some folks who basically could handle anything with wheels by the time they were 14, but the majority of folks who got their licenses, well, I'm surprised a lot of them are still alive.

A lot of weaselly and/or nonsense statistics in this post. For example, none of the MVA death/injury statistics specify who was driving and the accident rates of drivers 16-24 year-old drivers don't tell us much since we're only talking about restricting the driving of sixteen and seventeen year-olds.

Since there are states that do restrict licenses and those that don't, some comparative statistics between those groups of states would be instructive.

Moreover, it's not a shocking fact that inexperienced drivers will have more accidents than experienced ones. This would happen no matter how old you had to be to get a full, unrestricted license.

Even if all the statistics here are correct, is this really a Federal matter? Shouldn't we instead focus in having our respective State legislatures adjust their own driving ages? Do I suffer in Pennsylvania because Alaska's driving age is low? My insurance rates are specific to my state.

The notion of merely trying to persuade the states to exercise this STATE LEVEL POWER the way the Senator thinks would be a good idea, rather than blackmailing them into doing it, just never occurred to her, did it? I guess that somebody could ever NOT do something she thinks is a good idea is just inadmissible.

"The insurance industry’s bigger problem, though, would seem to be House Republicans, who are reluctant to take control over licensing from the states."

Good for the House Republicans. I hope they prevail on this.

As someone who was at that age when Massachusetts set up its graduated licensing scheme back in the 90's, I feel like the changes actually encouraged unsafe behavior in some cases. I got my license slightly before many of my peers, so I ended up driving unfamiliar vehicles simply because it was legal for me to carry passengers but not the usual driver. I remember multiple instances where passengers rode in the trunk if no unrestricted driver was available. MA's implementation was clumsy, as well; I fell into the group that held an unrestricted license, then had brief restrictions on it before returning to unrestricted status. Grandfathering existing unrestricted licenses would have made things less silly.

Having said that, are there any studies that show whether or not the change made a measurable impact, in MA or elsewhere? Are there any that control for kids driving newer (in theory, safer) vehicles over the same period?

How much of the risk is due to age, and how much is due to inexperience? If you bump the driving age to 21, aren't you just shifting the age where you have inexperienced drivers getting into car crashes?

What would make sense (but is imo not feasible) is a distinction between rural and urban. Over here the experience is that people who got their driving licence in a rural area and used it there exclusively get into real trouble when they try to navigate a big city. Even long years of driving do not prepare them for big city rush-hour. On the other hand there are certain features in rural areas that seem to prey mainly on (the overconfidence of) city dwellers. The way our regulations for driving school work, everyone has to learn some rural driving while it is possible to pass the exam without ever having entered a city. A lot of youngsters even deliberately choose a rural driving school because the practical driving test is easier there (and the rural driving schools tend to be cheaper too).

Personally I would apply the same principle to drivers and pilots. To keep your licence you have to prove that you use your vehicle on a regular enough base. Not enough miles in the, say, last 5 years and you have to repeat your exam, if you want to keep the licence.
I did not drive since the day I got the licence, so this would apply to me. I think before I try to manage to drive a car next time, I'll have to take a few refresher lessons.

Re the risks and factors causing teen accidents, from the Centers for Disease Control factsheet listed above:


What factors put teen drivers at risk?

  • Teens are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations or not be able to recognize hazardous situations.

  • Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next). The presence of male teenage passengers increases the likelihood of this risky driving behavior.

  • Among male drivers between 15 and 20 years of age who were involved in fatal crashes in 2005, 37% were speeding at the time of the crash and 26% had been drinking.

  • Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use. In 2005, 10% of high school students reported they rarely or never wear seat belts when riding with someone else.10

  • Male high school students (12.5%) were more likely than female students (7.8%) to rarely or never wear seat belts.10

  • Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use.

  • African-American students (12%) and Hispanic students (13%) were more likely than white students (10.1%) to rarely or never wear seat belts.

  • At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle crash is greater for teens than for older drivers.

  • In 2008, 25% of drivers ages 15 to 20 who died in motor vehicle crashes had a BAC of 0.08 g/dl or higher.

  • In a national survey conducted in 2007, nearly three out of ten teens reported that, within the previous month, they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol. One in ten reported having driven after drinking alcohol within the same one-month period.

  • In 2008, nearly three out of every four teen drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes after drinking and driving were not wearing a seat belt.

  • In 2008, half of teen deaths from motor vehicle crashes occurred between 3 p.m. and midnight and 56% occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.


Chuchundra, none of the statistics quoted were meant to be 'weaseling', none of them are nonsense, and all are from reliable sources. If you have found better statistics on these matters, why don't you put them in your comments so that we could all see them?

LJ, in looking at teen employment I found a number of regulations for "non-farm" employment but little concerning farm work. I also grew up in farm country with kids who could drive anything as long as they could reach the pedals and see over the dashboard; I recall that they were allowed to drive farm vehicles early, but not cars, but you and I were in different states.

Interestingly enough most insurance premiums decrease after 25, which is about the same time the brain has fully developed (including risk inhibitors). 17 is lot further away from that than 8 years of driving experience would suggest.

The learner's permit stage would require a driver training course, plus a minimum of 40 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old, and the presence of a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age at all times while the new driver is behind the wheel.

In a way, I would like to see something like this pass, not because I think it would materially improve driver safety, but because of the widespread appreciation it would bring to the general population of what federally regulated life is like. Twenty-one year old's training 18 year old's? Grand idea. The trainer has just gotten legal on buying alcohol, and what family doesn't have the extra money to pay for 40 hours of behind-the-wheel training.

The federal brain at work. "We're from the government. We're here to help."

I find it very, very believable that age is at least as strong a factor as experience. Taken as a class, 16 year olds are different beasts from 18 year olds. They are developmentally just less mature.

That said, I'm in the camp that wonders if a single federal standard is what is wanted here. I'd be curious to know how the statistics align with other factors like, frex, population density.

I think the the lower the driving age the better to allow kids of all ages to get to their jobs once child labor laws are abolished across the country.

The age of nine would seem like a nice even number to the odd Death Palins coming up through the ranks.

I'd agree to seven years of age to accommodate the Texan brain at work. ;)


More crashes = more need for new cars = more car sales => prosperity (and less obnoxious teens)

LJ -- re farm employment, I hope to post something separate on teen employment soon. I started writing about it here but it took over the post, so I decided to keep that part for later. If you have any further thoughts on this, I'd be glad to hear them.

Do I suffer in Pennsylvania because Alaska's driving age is low? My insurance rates are specific to my state.

If out-of-state dead kids don't bother you and you're only concerned about insurance rates, then no.

Moreover, it's not a shocking fact that inexperienced drivers will have more accidents than experienced ones. This would happen no matter how old you had to be to get a full, unrestricted license.

Seriously? So 8-year-olds should be allowed to drive, then?

I find it very, very believable that age is at least as strong a factor as experience. Taken as a class, 16 year olds are different beasts from 18 year olds. They are developmentally just less mature.

People who study these things professionally agree.

From here(via very cursory googling):

Writing in the article, Dr. Giedd comments, "Adolescence is a time of substantial neurobiological and behavioral change, but the teen brain is not a broken or defective adult brain. The adaptive potential of the overproduction/selective elimination process, increased connectivity and integration of disparate brain functions, changing reward systems and frontal/limbic balance, and the accompanying behaviors of separation from family of origin, increased risk taking, and increased sensation seeking have been highly adaptive in our past and may be so in our future. These changes and the enormous plasticity of the teen brain make adolescence a time of great risk and great opportunity."

and

"Novelty seeking/sensation seeking and risk taking," Dr. McAnarney continues, "is the basis for considerable growth during adolescence, as well as for the seemingly reckless behavior of some adolescents. Novelty seeking/sensation seeking and risk taking are topics of growing interest as adolescent brain development is defined better and as morbidity from adolescent risk taking mounts....The implication of our growing knowledge of brain--behavior mechanisms of adolescent conditions should provide insights into the risk of particular adolescents for morbidity and mortality.

I'm curious how experience plays out vs. age. I learned in Alaska under a learner's permit starting at age 14. Two years before an unrestricted license. That's twice the time available in California behind the wheel with an adult. Maybe it makes little difference, but I don't think so. I took my daughter out in the woods to drive before she was 15 to give her more experience.

Keep this part in mind when discussing age v. experience:

The intermediate driver cannot drive at night, or drive with more than one person in the car who is less than 21 years old and is not a family member, unless a licensed driver over 21 is in the vehicle. Regardless of when the driver reaches the intermediate stage, he or she will still be at that stage until age 18.

All other things being equal, more experience is better. The question is what constraints should that experience be gained under given the age of the driver. I'd be fine with 14-year-olds being allowed to drive on closed courses under direct adult supervision. That might not be practical, but I think it illustrates the concept.

I was driving at 13, with my dad's knowledge and not on the road (and at 15 in my friend's dad's car that would start without a key, sometimes on the road and not with my dad's knowledge). It probably helped, but I still did some really stupid things while driving, even into my 20s (driving 125 mph, imitating 70s-style car chases, driving during or immediately after snow storms just for fun - including the compulsory parking-lot donuts, timing myself on my former winding, country road commute to the nuke plant - always trying to top my best at great and unnecessary risk to myself and others). It turns my stomach to think of some of it now.

The nuke plant?

Did you take the reactor out for a late-night, high-speed spin too?

Personally, I do not think that federally mandated driving rules/restrictions are needed. I think this is something States really can handle on their own. Federalism is fine here, IMO.

That said, I don't mind that my state has gotten increasingly restrictive about teen driving. I think it makes sense, even if I'd have been furious about it back when I was 16. Of course, when I was 16 I was completely insane. It's a minor miracle I didn't get anybody killed.

It sounds like hsh and I were quite a bit alike as teenaged drivers. Heh.

If out-of-state dead kids don't bother you and you're only concerned about insurance rates, then no.

Actually, this is a very clear case of things where local regulation works. Out-of-state dead kids do bother me, but as a citizen of one state, I should trust that the citizens of neighbouring state can regulate their domestic institutions in a way that they find morally correct. The legal driving age has an extremely limited impact on interstate commerce.

Of course, if the "domestic institution" is, say, chattel slavery, it may rise to a level of abhorrence that one is morally required to dictate things to the other states, but the driving age is hardly such a clear-cut abomination.

Well said, Lurker.

...I should trust that the citizens of neighbouring state can regulate their domestic institutions in a way that they find morally correct. The legal driving age has an extremely limited impact on interstate commerce.

You can trust them all you like, but the question was whether or not someone should care if another state's driving age was "low", given that it wouldn't affect that someone's insurance rates. That's a separate question from how one would prefer the proper driving age to be arrived at.

I'm personally agnostic on the federal-v.-state question, and am more concerned about the policy, enacted at whatever level, being appropriate. That said, I'm not a lawyer, but I'd guess there might be a basis other than interstate commerce for federally enacted age requirements for driving.

I really don't see why this is a Federal matter at all. Except that anything is apparently a Federal matter in the eyes of some members of Congress.

As for issue itself, I don't really think the cause is age or experience. I think it has a lot more to do with responsibility -- specifically whether you have learned to be responsible for your actions and their results. At most, age is a proxy for that. And not a very good one, actually.

When I was growing up (mid-century; no idea what the law is now), California had a lower age limit for driving of 16. Except, if you were a farm kid, you could drive on the public roads at 14. The assumption was not so much that you might need to drive the farm equipment. After all, you could do that on private property at any age (I learned to drive the tractor the summer before I started 7th grade; and promptly taught my little brother, who was in 2 years younger).

That law was, I suspect, written for much the same reason that businesses in town would, given a choice, always hire farm kids over town kids: they could count on us being responsible and knowing how to work. The town kids might be just fine, of course; but with the farm kids there was no question in their minds.

Countme-in, how many seven-year-olds can see over the dashboard and have their feet touch the pedals at the same time?

Hartmut, fewer (not less) obnoxious teens = fewer workers to support the economy in a few years. I'd rather not see us in the position of Japan, where the prospect of the declining population is causing problems aside from the tsunami.

I'm not fond of the carrot-stick approach in this bill, either, but that seems to be the standard in the last decade. A major example is the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act, which was added to No Child Left Behind because schools didn't want to host an organization that refused memberships to gay people and atheists. Public schools that did not allow church-backed Scout troops to use their facilities faced the threat of losing all federal funding for their districts and all federal grants and loans for their graduates at university. Thus, they were forced to allow private non-egalitarian groups to use public resources, because they didn't want to have their graduates punished.

If you wanted to avoid the carrot-stick method, how would you reduce teen driving accidents across the nation? What would you use as incentive? How would you do it?

Did you take the reactor out for a late-night, high-speed spin too?

Just the neutrons. Well, sometimes a beta particle if I could get a hold of one, when I was feeling saucy.

"how many seven-year-olds can see over the dashboard and have their feet touch the pedals at the same time?"

Two.

One scrunched on the floor of the vehicle working the pedals with his/her hands, and the second standing on the seat to steer.

An over 21-year old Texan could ride shotgun to hold the liquor bottle.

We'd call it "car-pooling" but Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert would extrapolate homosexual bestiality, incipient martial law, Sharia, and Stalinism from the term.

So let's just call it a car full of sh*theads.

It does occur to me that disallowing all teenage driving on a national basis would sharply reduce teenage pregnancy, STDs, and abortions.

The kids would have to have sex on the school bus, uphill both ways in blizzards, like we did in the old days.

Hartmut, fewer (not less) obnoxious teens

Uh, can we maybe perhaps cool it on snotty grammar corrections directed towards posters for whom English is a second language? Perhaps?

Phil, do you see no value in distinguishing the number of teens from the level of their possible obnoxiousness? That was the point I was leaning toward, more a clarification than a correction since the original comment could have been taken either way.

"If out-of-state dead kids don't bother you and you're only concerned about insurance rates, then no."

To the extent they concern me, the appropriate place for me to address that concern is to the legislators in those states. What does concern me are federal office holders obsessed with centralizing all power in their own hands, who just can't cope with the idea that somebody else is entitled to make decisions they might disagree with.

Brett, give it a rest with the knee-jerk anti-government screeds. If this is a good idea, it's a good idea whether it's mandated at the state or federal level. If it's a bad idea, then it stinks whether it's a state or federal law.

The scope of the mandate is a red herring. The real question is: is this a good idea or not?

I think, frankly, that it stinks out loud.

As a number of people have pointed out so far, the determining factor here is not really the age of the person. There is nothing magical or objectively significant about the numbers 14, 15, 16, 18 or 21. A teenager does not automagically become a more responsible driver when passing an arbitrary age measured in units based on the orbital period of the planet. The real problems are maturity and inexperience.

Maturity is a complex and somewhat unquantifiable metric. But a person's driving experience is measurable, and it is something that can be affected by legislation. Legislation that has the effect of making it harder to get practical, real-world driving experience seems at best counterproductive on its face.

The statistics cited above are all well and good, but they all suffer from one very fatal flaw: they're all based around the age of the person. A 17-year-old who just got their learner's permit is, for the purpose of those statistics, dumped in the same bucket as a 17-year-old who's spent over a thousand hours behind the wheel.

I'm sure this is easier to tabulate--it's easier, for instance, to organize data by the age of a person than by how long they've had a license and how much time actual driving experience or education they have.

But it's lazy and seriously limits the usefulness of these statistics as a basis for deciding the age at which someone should be allowed to get that experience.

Amezuki, if you have statistics that reflect experience as well as age, I'd be glad to see them. I'd also be interested in seeing the relative experience of people who have spent most of their time driving on country roads as opposed to suburbs as opposed to cities, or of those who have driven short neighborhood commutes as opposed to long road trips, but those haven't been available, either. If you find a source for such data, please share it. It's very easy to criticize the data that's available, but it would be more productive to provide alternative statistics if you have them.

I can't see why this wouldn't work; a few decades ago, we raised the drinking age to 21 and completely eliminated alcohol use by teenagers. It's clear that all that's required to solve this, or any other problem, is an appropriate law. Passed at the federal level, of course, as not to infringe on the primary duty of the States, which is to make lines on a map.

Phil, do you see no value in distinguishing the number of teens from the level of their possible obnoxiousness?

I see value in understanding that Hartmut is a native German speaker who might not see as much daylight between "less" and "fewer" than the average native English speaker, who sees them as practically indistinguishable anyway.

If this is a good idea, it's a good idea whether it's mandated at the state or federal level. If it's a bad idea, then it stinks whether it's a state or federal law.

I hate to take Brett's side here, but this isn't necessarily true. Lots of things that make sense at the state and local level don't make sense at the federal level.

As Duncan Black has pointed out in discussions about public transit, given the way that we as Americans have restructured our living environment into exurbia over the last 30 years, to the point where 60-70% of our population lives in exurbs, to raise the driving age above 16 is to condemn pre-adults/young adults to a life of excruciating lack of freedom (and the associated chance to grow and mature by managing themselves) and/or complete dependence on chauffeur-parents.

Cranky

"Brett, give it a rest with the knee-jerk anti-government screeds. If this is a good idea, it's a good idea whether it's mandated at the state or federal level. If it's a bad idea, then it stinks whether it's a state or federal law.

The scope of the mandate is a red herring. The real question is: is this a good idea or not?"

Yeah, yeah, I get it: The end, and only the end, justifies the means. I don't accept that, and I'm never going to.

Some of the objections I'm reading suggest that people haven't read the post in detail.

This:

The learner's permit stage would require a driver training course, plus a minimum of 40 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old, and the presence of a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age at all times while the new driver is behind the wheel. Attainment of an unrestricted license would be delayed if the new driver is convicted of drunk driving, misrepresenting his/her age, reckless driving, driving without a seat belt, speeding or any other driving-related offense.

and this:

The intermediate driver cannot drive at night, or drive with more than one person in the car who is less than 21 years old and is not a family member, unless a licensed driver over 21 is in the vehicle. Regardless of when the driver reaches the intermediate stage, he or she will still be at that stage until age 18.

sound like ways for younger drivers to get driving experience in a graduated fashion. It balances short-term risks with long-term development. Perhaps it does so imperfectly. I'd think intermediate drivers should be allowed to drive at night with an experienced driver in the car. But that doesn't mean that no one would be getting driving experience at a fairly young age under the proposed law.

As a number of people have pointed out so far, the determining factor here is not really the age of the person. There is nothing magical or objectively significant about the numbers 14, 15, 16, 18 or 21. A teenager does not automagically become a more responsible driver when passing an arbitrary age measured in units based on the orbital period of the planet. The real problems are maturity and inexperience.

This sounds like an argument against age restrictions in general rather than an argument specifically against the proposed law discussed in the post. I don't see a practical alternative to placing legal age limits on drivers. Maturity does correlate to age generally, and if someone demonstrates that he or she is particularly unready for the responsibilities of driving, there are ways to deal with that: "...an unrestricted license would be delayed if the new driver is convicted of drunk driving, misrepresenting his/her age, reckless driving, driving without a seat belt, speeding or any other driving-related offense."

Doing this at a federal level might make sense for a few reasons.

First, as proposed, it doesn't dictate every aspect of licensing age requirements AFAICT, leaving significant territory to the states.

Second, there may well be an interstate-commerce aspect to this. Insurance companies do business in multiple states, and I have a hard time believing that their rates don't have any bleed-over from higher risk states to lower risk states. It would be much easier to spread some amount of risk over multiple states and charge the safer-state residents a bit more than you would in a vacuum and a bit less for the riskier-state residents than you otherwise would. In other words, safe-state drivers may be subsidizing risky-state drivers to some degree.

Beyond that, we're talking about people, which are portable, especially the ones that drive. Not only can they cross state borders in the course of daily or weekly or monthly activities, they can change their states of residence. We're not talking about houses or land.

Greater uniformity, if not absolute uniformity, among states doesn't sound like a radical proposal in this case, nor much of an infringement on states' rights to manage their affairs in general.

It's clear that all that's required to solve this, or any other problem, is an appropriate law.

Seat-belt laws have worked quite well, as has cracking down on drinking and driving. Nothing's perfect, of course. People still murder each other, right?

School busses should be provided and mandatory for all after school activities. This will help the children and provide them with the opportunity to enjoy public transportation and to socialize with their friends.

Good for the House Republicans. I hope they prevail on this.

I'm inclined to agree with Brett. Not because I have some pathological, irrational obsession with "leaving it up to the [dysfunctional] states," but because I think that this bill is a bad idea and realize that all the states are less likely to adopt such an idea on their own.

Given that we created a country in which most everyone is almost completely dependent on a car to get access to work and food and contact with other people, it seems a bit sadistic and a direct attack on freedom of late adolescents to prevent them from having their own access to cars.

The way I see this, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, and Utah are not the same as Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

bc talks about learning to drive in Alaska at a fairly young age. The population density of Alaska is less than 2 people per square mile. The population density of Anchorage, the biggest city in Alaska, is about 170 people per square mile.

The population density of my whole county in MA is about twice the population density of Anchorage.

There are probably places in the rural West where you could drive all day and not even see another car. You'd have to go out of your way to find something to crash into.

As a purely practical matter, the challenges and risk involved in driving are dramatically different in different parts of the country.

And in rural areas, not being able to drive is a very significant limitation.

There is nothing magical or objectively significant about the numbers 14, 15, 16, 18 or 21.

Couldn't disagree with this more.

14, 15, and even 16 years olds are developmentally significantly different from 18 or 21 year olds. It's not good, bad, or indifferent, they just are. Independent of experience in particular skills, their sense of judgement is just not the same.

There are lots of other developed countries with far lower death rates on the roads, both per capita and per mile driven.
My country, Australia, is also a Federal system, and the licensing of drivers is a state responsibility. In my state, no one can get a learner's permit until they are 16 and nine months, and they can't go for a license until they have logged 150 hours of driving practice supervised by a driver with a full licence of three years standing. If they pass the test they have a three year process to get a full license -- 12 months on a red license and a retest to get a green license (both provisional) that lasts for 2 further years, until they get a full license. Any violation of the traffic code, or any measurable blood alcohol during that time (Yep, 0 is the limit for provisional drivers) busts them back down to learner. It's draconian, but our road toll is down, and fewer teenagers die. By the time they get a full license they've had three years of being careful not to drive with any alcohol, which is a good habit.
People still learn to drive, the world keeps turning.

russell:

Dude, you haven't truly driven until you have traversed the permafrost heaves of an Alaskan highway. Plus, what do you have to dodge in Massachusetts? A white tail every other year? Nothing like a one ton bull moose gliding across an icy road in your path when you're doing 65 with the noon sun directly in your eyes just above the horizon while wearing bunny boots, an army parka and down mittens because it's -60 and your heater doesn't quite work.

And if you go to college outside of Alaska, as I did, you get the added bonus of driving the ALCAN twice per year. Improves your pot hole skills immensely as the Canadians and Alaskans mark the potholes for repair in completely opposite ways that seem to vary each year. My most challenging trip was driving my 240Z (280Z engine; triple Webbers) up the ALCAN during during one of the 7-year rabbit cycles. I just couldn't afford to hit those potholes in that car and it always seemed there was a rabbit running across the good part of the road.

I found the transition to LA freeways quite easy.

Now Australian roundabouts, that's a different story . . .

fiddler:
Hartmut, fewer (not less) obnoxious teens

Phil:
Uh, can we maybe perhaps cool it on snotty grammar corrections directed towards posters for whom English is a second language? Perhaps?

No problem there. I should not have made the error in the first place. I could of course try to weasel out of it by declaring teens an inanimate singular mass, so 'less' would be the correct choice ;-)
I also notoriously forget when to use -one and when -body and that noone has to be split. Not that this is a problem only troubling non-natives ;-)

Hartmut, I work as an academic editor in an English speaking country. I can vouch for the fact that the most highly educated people in such a country mostly do not have the first idea about the grammatical issues you outline. Or even that there are such issues ;-) Well played.

The net (at least the interactive part of it) is also a special place as far as language is concerned. For some time I regularly stumbled on the phenomenon of 'orthography by ear'. Although that often coincides with general low quality of content (and the need for an f-stripper), it's by no means bijective (not exactly the term I was looking for). Don't* know, whether that has changed or it's simply a question of where one looks.
---
No intent on my side to derail the thread. But we could expand the discussion. Should there be a federal language police? I hear the French are in favor of it.**

*another grammar question: is omitting the 'I' here OK (in casual conversation at least) or is it mandatory even then?
**Iceland also seems to take the question rather seriously. More about words than grammar though.

As Duncan Black has pointed out in discussions about public transit, given the way that we as Americans have restructured our living environment into exurbia over the last 30 years, to the point where 60-70% of our population lives in exurbs, to raise the driving age above 16 is to condemn pre-adults/young adults to a life of excruciating lack of freedom (and the associated chance to grow and mature by managing themselves) and/or complete dependence on chauffeur-parents.

Heartily agreed.

"Second, there may well be an interstate-commerce aspect to this."

Oh, come on now. Members of Congress don't pull out the "We'll take away all your highway funds if you don't knuckle under!" stick if they see any interstate commerce aspect, they just pass the blasted law with a mention of the commerce clause. And members of Congress are notorious for seeing interstate commerce where no sane person would see it.

I am sick and tired of the federal government taxing the inhabitants of all the states to the point where the states themselves can't levy enough taxes to sustain their normal operations without ruining their economies, and then offering to give some of it back if the states obey federal orders on subjects where the states have primacy.

Perhaps it's a matter which ought to be taken up at the next constitutional convention. I'll be shocked if we get through the decade without one.

No one cares about "states' rights," Brett. If anything they usually want federal intervention to do the work that their dysfunctional, corrupt state legislatures can't. I just happen to think that thisndriving law is a bad idea and would prefer that states just dig themselves into their own holes by passing these dumb ideas if they so choose.

Hartmut, I apologize, and thank you for your graciousness. There is no way for me to know any commenter's background in the language unless that person mentions it.

I worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for many years; also, I am a sometime grammarian in a different journal. It's a reflex that I attempt to curb when I am not there.

Let's look at a different practical side of this. Suppose that you are a teenager, andyou don't happen to live in an urban area with mass transport. With this bill, either you are limited to jobs within walking distance, or you work day shifts only, or you don't work.

Willing to be a responsible person, and learn how the world of work is? Tough, you have no options.
Want to earn money to pay for college? Sorry, you don't get to do that until you are old enough to actually go to college.

In short, this looks like a classic example of a bill written by someone who has no clue how life is for anyone outside their particular little socio-economic bubble. Which means, for 95+% of the country. But hey, it looks like proposing it (unsuccessfully) might be a vote winner -- especially with the large part of the electorate which doesn't trouble to think things thru themselves..

This is a good lesson on how not to use statistics.

"Young people ages 15-24 represent only 14% of the U.S. population. However, they account for 30% ($19 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28% ($7 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among females."

-- IRRELEVANT. It doesn't matter the % of young people in the US population. What matters, is the % of young people among the DRIVING US population -- a number which is likely larger than 14%, thus making the 30% less surprising. Furthermore, why are we judging this by 30% of total costs? Comparing it to % of total accidents makes far more sense.

"There are good statistical, practical reasons for this change. 'Motor Vehicle Traffic' accounts for 39.98 percent of fatalities for people age 16-19, according to the National Center for Health Statistics."

-- Should we be expecting that young people die more frequently from some other cause? why is it necessarily relevant that 40% die from car crashes. This is not a "good statistical" reason.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, none of your "statistical evidence" demonstrates a causal link (or even a correlation) between instituting this driving age license change, and reduced deaths. You list several states that already have this law. There should thus be statistical evidence available to evaluate their efficacy. All over data you site is irrelevant.

PS: your statistics frequently include the year 19. Your proposed treatment (unrestricted license) goes in place at 18. These years must match in order for you to prove that such a program would be effective.

Please, be more careful next time.

D, as I said above, if you have statistics that you think are better and more useful to the discussion, please feel free to share them.

Brett, give it a rest with the knee-jerk anti-government screeds. If this is a good idea, it's a good idea whether it's mandated at the state or federal level. If it's a bad idea, then it stinks whether it's a state or federal law.
I'm going to side with Brett on this one, at least to the point of saying that arguing that it might be best considered on a state level is a perfectly reasonable topic to debate.

One can agree or disagree whether it's a problem best handled nationally or by state, but in fact, as we see in this thread, opinions vary considerably, and I think that's a legitimate argument, and the fact that Brett Bellmore makes it doesn't invalidate it, and I don't think we need to make things personal based on who is making the point. Quite a few people here have argued that it's better handled by the states, and my own inclination is that it's a perfectly defensible point.

Personally I'm looking forward to more sophisticated testing software/hardware in future that should enable us to quit having to use such wide generalizations as arbitrary age cut-offs and arbitrary geographic cut-offs, and simply measure the brain/reflex/physiological, and judgmental, capacities that are actually at issue, and thus get away from either having a national Procrustean law, or state-wide age discrimination, but I have to stress that obviously we can't do that yet.

But I bet we will be able to within fifteen years, and within ten it's more a matter of funding and implementation than the technology.

And I'm always much happier when laws and rules apply more specifically to those who aren't harmed unnecessarily by them. Which is to say, more individually when appropriate, if possible.

I'm also not a big fan of unnecessary age discrimination or geographic discrimination, and that's part of why I'm not all that wild, myself, about leaping to a national law.

So, this, I agree with:

[...] Maturity is a complex and somewhat unquantifiable metric. But a person's driving experience is measurable, and it is something that can be affected by legislation. Legislation that has the effect of making it harder to get practical, real-world driving experience seems at best counterproductive on its face.
Russell:
14, 15, and even 16 years olds are developmentally significantly different from 18 or 21 year olds. It's not good, bad, or indifferent, they just are.
Statistically, yes. But people do vary considerably.

Fiddler:

I'm not fond of the carrot-stick approach in this bill, either, but that seems to be the standard in the last decade.
This is not an argument I'm that sympathetic to. Either it's a good idea or it's a bad; what the latest fashion in legislative methodology is doesn't speak to that.

[...] If you wanted to avoid the carrot-stick method, how would you reduce teen driving accidents across the nation? What would you use as incentive? How would you do it?
This pre-supposes that the person being asked thinks the best approach is to "reduce teen driving accidents across the nation," rather than state by state.

But that's precisely one of the key points people are debating. One answer people are making is: maybe we shouldn't do that.

And maybe we should or maybe we shouldn't, but that question can't be answered by begging the question.

But since I don't drive and have never had a driver's license, I'll refrain from further venturing an opinion. You folks who damage the environment by using internal combustion engines, cause wars by your requirements for petroleum, and like to kill people with your cars can fight it out amongst yourselves.

Mostly :-), but not 100%.

(Yes, the way our country is set up requires most people to drive cars. Maybe that's a more basic issue to address, not that we have to or can sor should do so in some sort of linear order, of course; that's not how politics works; we do what we can when we can, and it's nasty to watch the sausage be made.)

But in all seriousness, someone explain to me why they believe that in ten years people will be driving their own cars?

Assuming we don't have massive societal collapse, or EMP, or massive war, etc., why are kids in the U.S. mostly going to have to be mostly driving themselves in, say, 2027 or even 2021, instead of software and GPS?

I'm utterly serious.

Sure, one can argue that we need to cover the next ten to fifteen years with our laws, because right now we'll have a lot more dead kids (and other people kiled by them) until then. That's true.

But how long a term problem is this going to be?

Me: I've already given my answer. I don't think it's going to be an issue in a mature econonmy in fifteen years. We already have cars that can drive themselves. All that matters now is getting them to the production stage and then convincing people to buy them.

That link was a while ago. More recently.

This made the rounds last month, and I wish I had time to do a tech/science round-up post, but I did get it on Facebook last month, sigh.

This is perfectly real tech, although I agree that it's not something anyone is going to be, or should be, buying next month or next year.

But very soon.

Google driverless car. Watch this space.

[...] An attorney for the California Department of Motor Vehicles raised concerns that "The technology is ahead of the law in many areas" citing state laws that "all presume to have a human being operating the vehicle".[1]
Yes, and state laws and federal laws are going to start to need to catch up to the reality of technology as much as vice versa.

US energy use chart shows we waste more than half of our energy.

Relevant to this thread:

[...] To begin with, it shows that more than half (58%) of the total energy produced in the US is wasted due to inefficiencies, such as waste heat from power plants, vehicles, and light bulbs. In other words, the US has an energy efficiency of 42%. And, despite the numerous reports of progress in solar, wind, and geothermal energy, those three energy sources combined provide just 1.2% of our total energy production. The vast majority of our energy still comes from petroleum (37%), natural gas (25%), and coal (21%).
That percentage of oil illustrates that by far our biggest problem - or area of improvement - is transportation. As the chart shows, the transportation sector is the single biggest consumer of energy, accounting for nearly 40% of the energy consumed by the four sectors (along with residential, commercial, and industrial). In comparison, just 16% is used for residential use. And while the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors waste about 20% of their energy, the transportation sector wastes a full 75%, making it just 25% energy-efficient. Part of this waste is due to the fact that cars are an inherently inefficient way to move people around, since much of the energy must go into moving the massive car and not simply the person.
The chart emphasizes the importance of using alternative methods of transportation - walking, biking, public transportation, or anything else that moves more human and less steel. Unfortunately, due to developers building sprawling suburbs to satisfy Americans’ demands of large homes and yards, many people now find themselves miles from the nearest grocery store and have no choice but to drive everywhere. To illustrate how transportation consumption and waste dwarfs residential consumption, a blog post on Treehugger notes that “building suburbs of Energy Star houses with solar panels on top is a complete waste of time.”
All those exciting Middle Eastern wars we have such fun with? Want them to stop?

Quit driving.

Just say no.

(Yes, as simplistic and useless in one area as another. But it worked so well for Nancy! And I can gaze upwards and smile as adoringly!)

gary, I can speak only for people over here (without asking them, of course ;-) ) but 'the people' want to drive themselves to a significant degree. Especially those that actually should be required not to. To curtail the freedom of the right to drive* is a third rail in German politics similar (though not as extreme) as the 2nd amendment in the US**.
Even at an afforable price cars with that technology would not sell well. Given my experience with several other attempts to sell increased comfort that have failed constantly I think it would take generations for this technology to get accepted. The 3-l-car (3 liter fuel consumption per 100 km) turned out to be a total flop because most people that tested it said 'this takes the fun out of driving'.
Germans at the wheel turn into aggressive animals and get angry if they can't.

*Freie Fahrt für freie Bürger! is the traditional slogan
**and too many love to use their cars like firearms to intimidate others, esp. pedestrians. Typical behaviour: a pedestrian crosses the road, car driver changes lanes and accelerates in order to 'make him/her jump'.

Hey fiddler, you asked about farm employment, but all I have is 30 year old memories from high school. As it turns out, I met one of the friends who was probably driving when he was 14 and taking on responsibilities that I think I would have trouble with today. He was definitely an outlier and the rest of us were trying to get our license so we could drive up and down the Boulevard on Friday and Saturday night. However, if we had had to wait until we were 18 in my small town, the boredom would be excruciating.

Having one example of someone who was young but was able to (and needed to) handle motor vehicles kind of points to the problem, if you try to address this as a demographic probability, and say we want to address the question of people who may not have the responsibility by looking at age, you are going to have situations where the age cutoff looks punitive. The drinking age seemed very stupid when one thought that someone could volunteer for the army, but not walk in a bar to get a drink.

Being in Japan, I have begun to see how something like drivers licenses is actually a small but integral part of a bigger canvas that can't be easily removed or altered because of other considerations. Here, we have good public transport, so licenses are typically something that college students get. Some high school students, and students who choose not to go to high school have to get to and from school/work so the age for scooters is lower.

The cost of getting a drivers license here is really high. It is so high, in fact, that a while ago, there were Japanese high school and college students who would go to do a relatively short exchange program in California and get their US drivers license, and return to Japan and convert it to a Japanese one, and this made financial sense (the students wouldn't only go to get the license, the exchange experience was one of those things that was valued, but the license was something that was factored in. The government made changes in the law concerning how licenses were converted (and though it seemed like it was aimed at that particular segment, they couched it in an explanation that people from places that drive on the right side of the road have to take an actual driving test, but the effect was to cut off this option) Furthermore, cars are much more expensive and a shaken, which includes mandatory car insurance and is able to support a number of other social goals.

I've got a few more thoughts about maturity and the way society has changed the way it perceives teens and teens perceive themselves, but I'll stop here for the time being.

"No one cares about "states' rights," Brett."

Project much, Tyro?

Project much, Tyro?

Not at all, Brett. One of the common tropes among libertarians is "well, most everyone really has libertarian beliefs that they can't express at the ballot box because of the two party system." This is projection, and you really need to accept that as much as you may value "states' rights" for whatever of your own reasons you have, hardly anyone else does. I might possibly be compelled by an argument that drivers' licenses, in particular, might be a specific case in which keeping laws local might be more effective, but I'm much more compelled by the argument that this law is simply a bad idea on the merits.

First, Tyro, you're the one here making a claim about everyone, not me. I'm content to observe that some people, including myself, care if the Constitution is being violated, apart from the policy merits of a given violation.

And you can't so neatly separate the merits of something from the procedural approach to achieving it, procedures have their own effects, and have something to say about people who've sworn oaths to follow certain procedures.

"...you have, hardly anyone else does."

I do.

But in all seriousness, someone explain to me why they believe that in ten years people will be driving their own cars?

Can someone explain to me why doctors still scribble prescriptions down on paper in ink where pharmacists and nurses misread them thus causing thousands of people to die every year? I mean, information technology has been around for decades now: electronic medical records are very much a solved problem. There is no need for anyone to die because of doctors' handwriting today. Yet people do.

My point is that society integrates technological change in fits and starts, in ways that might not seem rational.

We already have cars that can drive themselves. All that matters now is getting them to the production stage and then convincing people to buy them.

Oh, it is only a small matter of programming, eh?

I don't think we have cars that can drive themselves in general. We might have cars that can drive themselves on highways when there are no "traditional" drivers driving nearby to confuse them. But that's very different than having cars that can successfully navigate in dense urban and suburban environments where they have to negotiate passage with other drivers and pedestrians.

I believe that our existing technology is nowhere near good enough to solve this problem right now. And I don't think this sort of problem can be solved by incremental hardware improvements. In fact, I'm pretty skeptical that we will have significant hardware improvements (that are usable) in 10 years. You can already see this trend: processor clock speeds stalled several years ago, so CPU designers have just been building more cores per die. But since software engineers don't know how to make reliable systems that can use all those cores and since performance is still constrained by memory/disk bandwidth anyway, it hasn't really helped.

To put it another way: we had passable speech and facial recognition over a decade ago. Despite lots of applied research and hardware improvements, we still don't have systems that are anywhere near as good as even a dumb human when it comes to recognizing faces or transcribing speech. We have systems that can do an OK job in very tightly constrained conditions (for faces: the light and angle have to be just right; for speech, the universe of discourse has to be severely limited, or extensive training is required) and...that's it. There are many problems that humans solve easily that are just astonishingly hard for machines and I don't see that changing in the next decade or two.

On balance, I would say that a fair number of people care about states' rights, in the sense that the Constitution limits what the Federal government can do, and reserves the other things to the states. That's been honored mainly in the breach for decades, but it is still nominally the law.

Unfortunately, from at least the mid-1800s to the middle of the last century "states' rights" was code for "let the South discriminate against blacks, regardless of what the Federal law and Constitution say." And the overtones of that gloss still color any discussion of it -- even when the people doing the discussion are not consciously aware of it during the discussion.

It doesn't help to change that background feeling that a large portion of those who declaim the loudest about states' rights just happen to be from the states of the old Confederacy. Just as the "take back our country" rhetoric (yes, I mean that specific phrase) didn't turn up during earlier decades when liberals were doing things that conservatives (including me) were opposed to -- it started when a black man became President. Coincidence? I ssure wouldn't bet the ranch on it.

Which all comes down to, I have seen no evidence that Brett is a racist. But when he says "states' rights," he gets a reaction like he was. Perhaps we could all work on understanding what people actually mean when they use phrases which mean one thing on their face and quite another when we look at their frequent usage. Just a thought.

"D, as I said above, if you have statistics that you think are better and more useful to the discussion, please feel free to share them."

Off the top of my head? no, of course not. I didn't write this post -- that's not my responsibility. Not having access to the proper statistics, does not mean it is ok to use improper ones to try and argue policy. This is an egregious error that results in stupid, stupid decisions. If you don't have the right data, just admit so. Don't use irrelevant data and pretend it shows us anything useful.


I don't actually think that Brett has any neo-confederate leanings, only that he is projecting his own cares about leaving things "up to the states" onto most other people who actually don't. And, quite honestly, he doesn't want any government to do anything, so I'm comfortable believing that "leaving it up to the states" is typically code for "I don't want anyone doing it at all." (abortion is another good example, here)

On a philosophical and historical note, states are typically allowed to do what they want, as long as they do the right thing. Since I don't think that states are doing it wrong with their drivers' licensing schemes, it does not strike me that the federal government needs to intervene.

Anyone writing comments here has access to the same publicly available sources of statistics online as I do, and is free to share them and link to them in comments. That would be a greater contribution to the conversation than simply disagreeing with the statistics that are posted.

The point of this post was not statistics, however, or states' rights, but finding a way to keep about 3,000 teen drivers a year and their passengers from dying in car crashes, and that is why I wrote about it in the first place.

I spent enough time as a reporter covering car crashes and writing obituaries that I don't ever want to see another one. I don't want to watch someone being pried out of a crushed chunk of metal that looks more like a smashed tin can than a vehicle, or watch the EMTs desperately trying to keep someone alive to get them to the hospital, or follow the trail of blood through the ER to find out if the end result is victims or survivors, or write the obituaries that talk about what promise the deceased had, and the great things this kid would have done if he or she had survived to graduate from high school. I suspect that these may not be common experiences for most commenters here.

Those who are most concerned about cutting costs and balancing budgets may want to consider the amount of money and effort that it takes to maintain 50 separate sets of laws concerning licensing drivers, not to mention educating police about them, and how much money might be saved if at least some of those laws were the same across the country. The other direct cost savings that comes to mind as a result of fewer accidents would occur in hospital emergency rooms and within fire departments and ambulance companies. Tax-supported municipal hospitals would spend a great deal less money if they did not have to treat thousands of injuries from teen car crashes each year. Municipal (tax-supported) fire departments and ambulance squads would make fewer emergency runs for car crashes, which would be a cost savings for them; the same for volunteer fire and ambulance companies whose members put the rest of their lives on hold when they're called to an accident.

One change to Sen. Gillibrand's bill was suggested to me by a reader I spoke to offline: make the graduated licensing provisions apply to all new drivers of any age, whether they're 16 or 20 or 45 or whatever -- after the learner's permit and passing the road test, requiring a period of time when the new driver must be more supervised and must have no convictions for illegalities before the full license is issued. This was suggested to me both for fairness and to make sure that the "new" older driver would receive the same amount of experience as the teen drivers receive.

I spent enough time as a reporter covering car crashes and writing obituaries that I don't ever want to see another one.

Well, there are more than 30,000 traffic fatalities per year, so it's not like you will find relief anytime soon, even if we took all teenagers off the road.

I am not a big fan of driving, and certainly we in America seem like underestimate the risks of a car-dependent lifestyle. However, I think it is a stretch to assume that the states are handling licensing poorly to the point that federal intervention is required. In addition, in a country that requires a car for basic mobility, stranding millions of teenagers seems unwise.

make the graduated licensing provisions apply to all new drivers of any age, whether they're 16 or 20 or 45 or whatever -- after the learner's permit and passing the road test, requiring a period of time when the new driver must be more supervised and must have no convictions for illegalities before the full license is issued.

That's essentially the way it is done in Germany. The driving licence is probationary for two years. The minimum age for a full driving licence is 18 (for cars) but driving lessons and the exam can be taken earlier than that. Relatively new is the 'accompanied driving' exception allowing driving for youngsters that did their driving exam but are only 17, if accompanied by someone with a full licence.
Rules for motorbikes are a bit more complicated since there are several licence classes based on engine displacement and speed. Youngsters under 18 with a motorbike licence and people that have a licence for a car can use the lightest versions. The higher classes are age restricted and require special licences of their own (i.e. car and motorbike driving licences are different). The classic Vespa scooter was in the the lowest class (so 16 year olds and me could use it), it's modern successors are not due to increased engine displacement. Otherwise I'd consider getting one as a backup in case of problems with local public transport.

I just read an article the other day about how the fatality rate on US roads has never been lower (it's like 1/6th of what it was in the 1950s), which is sweet. Obviously, there are a number of different factors involved. Obviously, one can always continue to pursue perfection. But things have improved dramatically already and I don't see a compelling reason to handle this at the federal level. Perhaps that means I don't care about dead kids, I dunno.

Hartmut, I remember seeing a lot of mopeds years ago when I was in Europe, specifically Germany and Switzerland. Are they still not considered motorbikes for licensing purposes?

Rob, I can't find the statistic right now but I recall that one of the biggest reductions in the fatality rate came from requiring seat belts (and later shoulder restraints) and from improvements in door locks. Before that, many fatalities occurred when people were thrown out of their vehicles during a crash, sometimes into traffic, or when their heads crashed into the windshield.

If getting a license is the issue, the states are doing fine at it. If driver safety and saving lives of young people is the issue, they aren't, demonstrably, since we're losing almost as many young drivers per year as we lost people during 9/11.

fiddler, what's an acceptable number of annual teen driving fatalities? Three quarters of what it is now? Half? A tenth? Zero?

(Also, JFTR, the 9/11 invocation is almost as distasteful a ploy as the "you don't care about dead kids" ploy, unless you're trying to make a point about expending X amount of resources to achieve Y effect. But that's not what you're doing.)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad