To the editor,
I am currently a learner’s permit holder here in Connecticut. I will have completed all of the requirements to take the test to get my driver’s license. However, there is a catch: there is a mandatory four-month waiting period between getting a learner’s permit and taking a license test for 16- or 17-year-olds that take 30 hours of driver’s education classroom courses (the wait is even longer — six months — for teens that take the minimum eight-hour drug and alcohol course through a driver’s ed company). This four-month wait period is unnecessary and creates problems for teens that have jobs, sports practices, or religious services, especially when they have parents and relatives that work full time.
There should be a variance process to this system. If a teen driver is able to show that they have passed the test at the end of the 30-hour course, have done the 40 hours of driving with a parent or guardian as required by the state, and have no means of transportation to above listed activities, along with working papers or a note from an official, they should be allowed to drive to and from these activities on their own.
There would be limited risk in allowing these teens to drive on their own. They would be going to and from work, school, meetings, or religious services, and that is it. Also, if any of these drivers are found breaking the law or driving somewhere other than work, school, or some other sort of required activity, they should have their variance revoked immediately. These would be the same people, with very little additional knowledge, driving at the end of the wait period anyway. Why should we have to wait to get a job, join a sports or academic team or club, or regularly attend religious activities, just because of a wait period whose sole purpose is to make us wait longer and unintentionally making us wait to do these things?