Tribune student panel

Question: Should California raise its driving age to 17 or 18 per a report released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety last month?

Join the discussion. Post a comment with your answer to this week’s question.

Taylor Moncrief, 16, Diamond Bar High School
No. The way the law is now I won’t be able to take a date to the movies until my third month of college! Kids work and have lives outside of their home and schools. Driving gives you independence and is part of the growing-up process.

Katie Montemayor, 17, Glendora High School
I do not necessarily think the driving age needs to be raised, but the guidelines need to be stronger: a longer learner’s permit period, more driver’s education classes and the like. Instead of raising the age, I think that the laws should be stricter for the younger drivers and that the parents of the young drivers need to hold their children more accountable.

Kasey Haas, 16, Glendora High School
Experience not maturity makes a safe driver, I say “No.” First-time drivers need experience and time behind the wheel. Currently, parents monitor and spend time practicing and developing driving skills, and minors do have driving restrictions, such as who can be in the car.

Derek Klena, 17, South Hills High School
Personally, I disagree with raising the driving age. Students and teens look forward to getting their driver’s license as their 16th birthday approaches. And I believe the safety issue may not change if the age bar is lifted. Even though 17- and 18-year-olds may have a couple more valuable years of life under their belt, judgement and maturity differ with everyone. The common risks of the road will always remain. It’s up to each individual to respect the privilege of having a license.

Amanda McCraven, 14, La Verne Lutheran High School
No, I don’t think California should raise the driving age to 17 or 18. I think they should just enforce all the laws that are already in existence. If they raise the driving age, people are going to still be inexperienced when they start driving. The issue of tickets and accidents is not so much about being a teen, but about being an inexperienced driver.