With a new bill aging like cheese on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, the true age of adulthood seems to be moving from 18 to 21.
As of 2017, the only genuine perk of turning 18 in America is being able to rent an apartment, buy lottery tickets or join the military and possibly die for the country. The age to purchase cigarettes recently went to 21, while alcohol purchases in California have been limited to 21 and up since 1933. Soon the age to drive as late as 11pm—11pm!—will be restricted for young drivers.
Assembly Bill 63, penned byAssemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Oakley), would restrict licenses to provisional status for the first year, meaning a new driver under 21 cannot drive between 11pm-5am for the first 12 months. The only exceptions would be for military personnel, emergencies and drivers who can prove they are going to or from work and school.
Also, the new law would only allow drivers under 21 to transport passengers who are a parent, guardian or driving instructor 25 or older. As of right now, that law applies only to drivers 18 and under during the provisional period.
The bill is personal to Frazier, chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, whose 20-year-old daughter died in a car accident two decades ago. The assemblyman points to a 2013 study by the California DMV, which found that the most dangerous period of driving for young adults is immediately after they have been licensed, particularly in the first month. However, teen drivers were found to also be involved in more accidents at ages 18 and 19. One could also argue that inexperienced drivers will always be bad drivers.
If the bill receives Gov. Brown’s signature it would go into law Jan. 1, 2020.