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Should minimum driving age be raised to 17 or 18?

Q. Earlier this month, an influential auto safety group urged states to raise the age for getting a driver's license to 17 or even 18. What do you think?

Adelina Cato, 13, North Stanly High School, New London: I don't think the age should be raised to 17 or 18 years. My personal opinion is that a different test should be required [for teens] to receive a license. New drivers could be put on some type of probation. Right now, most teen drivers pass the test (if not the first time) on their second attempt. If the test were more challenging, maybe only the people who deserved to drive and were mature enough would get their license.

Stephen Idol, 14, South Charlotte Middle School, Charlotte: Raising the driving age to 17 or 18 would not make much of a difference in the number of fatal car accidents involving teens. Age isn't the problem.

The failure to teach the dangers of careless driving is. The nation's student driving programs must be more rigorous so that fresh drivers will be smarter and safer drivers. Parents need to stand up to the irresponsibility of teenage drivers.

Khevna Desai, 16, School of Math, Engineering, Technology, and Science @ Olympic, Charlotte: The age for getting a driver's license should be raised to 17 or 18. At this age, teens are more mature than they are at 16. If teens are more mature they have a better understanding of the dangers of a car. In CMS schools, drivers' ed is a requirement to be able to apply for a driving permit. I have already taken drivers' ed and think that is a very effective program.

Pedro Garcia, 13, Smith Academy of International Languages, Charlotte: The accidents by cars are mostly caused by teens. They think they're grown ups and drink alcohol and get drunk.

Their friends play in the car and the driver gets distracted. They should raise the age because at those ages some teens are not mature enough to drive. There should be a harder test for them. Also teens shouldn't drink alcoholic beverages in the car.

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