Teen drivers need to keep learners permits longer

In Mississippi a teenager can get their driver license at fifteen and a half years old. At the same time our state leads the country in the number of teenage deaths due to auto accidents. Some lawmakers and the Mississippi Highway Patrol think teenagers need to get more practical experience before they are able to drive by themselves.

At the present time, a teen can get a learners permit at age fifteen and only has to have it for six months before applying to get a license. The State Senate has passed a bill which would require a teenager to keep that permit for one year before they can take the test to get their drivers license.

Under the provision drivers with a learners permit would be required to have someone in the car who is 21 years or older at all times. A spokesman for the Mississippi Highway Patrol said raising this age limit would help cut down some of the fatalities they see in young drivers.

We agree that requiring a teenager to hold that permit for another six months is a good idea. We urge the Mississippi House to pass the bill as well and make driving on our highways safer for everyone.

That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to editorials@wlox.com, or post your comments below.

David Vincent
WLOX-TV Station Manager

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