Get in, fasten your seat belts and prepare for a government ride in the nanny van.
Recently, Arizona got a new piece of legislation called the Teenage Driver Safety Act.
It in itself is a reckless act by the state Legislature which drives its intentions through a seductive false sense of safety.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the thrust of the Teen Driver Safety Act which includes a graduated driver's license: A teen must be 16 years old, must hold the class "G" permit for at least six months, must have completed 20 hours of supervised, behind-the-wheel, daytime driving practice and 10 hours of supervised, behind-the-wheel night time driving practice for a total of 30 hours before applying for a graduated driver's license.
For the first six months, a teen with a GDL cannot drive between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. unless: A parent or legal guardian who has a valid drivers license is sitting in the front passenger seat (I suppose it doesn't count if they're in the rear seat?) or if the teen is driving to or from a sanctioned school sponsored activity, a sanctioned religious activity, a place of employment or a family emergency.
Are you getting all of this? Check out the details at www.azdot.gov/mvd/driver/gdl/gdl.asp and then tell me what's so wonderful about a law which you should be enforcing with your children and what's so wonderful about the "state" enforcing some cockamamie concoction of convoluted responsibility?
Who's responsible for whom in this case, after midnight, with more than two people, on their way to or from what event?
Our Legislature voted in the majority last year to pass this law which has far-reaching implications. We can all agree that traffic accidents are the No. 1 cause of teen related deaths in Arizona and it's been proven to be true in many other states as well. According to the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, the crash risk quadruples when there are three or more passengers in a car containing a teen driver below the age of 18. Laws like these can reduce fatal crashes involving 16-year-old drivers by 16 to 21 percent.
My thought is this - when do you believe it's time to stop an out-of-control Legislature who is legislating your responsibility away from being a parent? If our children are so reckless while they're under the age of 18, then why don't they raise the legal driving age to 18 and be done with it?
By raising the driving age, we can eliminate fatal crashes involving 16-year-old drivers. What they've done is restrict us from controlling our own children with legislation that controls when and where they can drive.
Logic follows, since most traffic accidents occur within 5 miles of home, can we be restricted when and where we drive near our homes?
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you these pearls of wisdom. Find out who your legislators are, how they vote and decide if they are worthy of holding public office - whether you believe it's your right to decided when your child drives and when they don't or whether you believe the benevolent government has your best interest at heart by chipping away at your rights as a parent.
My final point is this should have never been a topic of discussion.
Our legislators spend precious time trying to decide the smallest details of our lives when they should be focusing on the larger picture of fiscal responsibility and limited government.
Bob Hisserich is a Mesa resident.