Young Driver Bill Suggests True Age of Adulthood No Longer 18

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.


  1. It seems to be the rule that the most misused privileges are those freshly acquired, the only exception being the acquisition of political privilege, whose misuse actually increases over time.

  2. That’s ridiculous,leave those kids alone. If you think this law would deter 18-21 year olds from driving late at night you’re delusional. It’s also illegal in California for those under 21 to smoke (18 in Germany) & drink alcohol (16 for beer & wine,18 for spirits in Germany),how effective have those laws been in curbing their illegal behavior. Is it any wonder that young people have so little respect for the law ? Quit going out of your way to make criminals out of our children. Give the kids a break,if you’re old enough to vote & serve your country,you should be old enough to smoke,to drink or to drive without restrictions. No smoking,no drinking & no driving at night ? The only vice left is premarital sex. How about lowering the age of consent to 14 instead (like in Germany),then most teenagers wouldn’t need to move the car at all !

    • > Is it any wonder that young people have so little respect for the law ? Quit going out of your way to make criminals out of our children.


      Are you for — as is Chuck Schumer — “passing more laws to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands.”?

      Wouldn’t Chuck Schumer’s new laws just make criminals out of more children AND more adults?

      • Children with guns ? Now that’s a cheery thought ! The 2nd Amendment says that you have the right to bear arms as part of a “well regulated militia” ! No militia,no right to bear arms ! It only takes 5 Supreme Court Justices to narrow the court’s interpretation of one sentence to make America a safer place for everyone. I won’t hold my breath waiting for the present Supreme Court to do the right thing,but one new liberal appointment could certainly swing their thinking in the opposite direction. I hold the NRA & now Mitch McConnell’s obstruction personally responsible for the daily carnage on our streets. Over 300 million guns owned by Americans is enough to arm every man,woman & school child in our country. Yet 3% of Americans own over 90% of the guns & the regulation of their sale & transfer is far too lax. It’s much to easy to acquire guns & ammunition & all ammunition should be traceable back to it’s source & manufacturer. Stricter gun laws in some states are virtually worthless when guns come in cereal boxes in neighboring states. Crazy people need to be identified & institutionalized & no one other than the military & law enforcement needs automatic & semi-automatic rifles,armor piercing ammunition or silencers. If the people who possess these weapons of mass destruction are crazy enough to resist efforts to place restrictions on who may possess them,I guess that there will just be a lot fewer crazy people to worry about when the smoke clears !

        When armed Black Panthers sat in our own State Capitol in the 1960’s the legislators couldn’t vote to ban carrying loaded guns in public fast enough (that same day in fact). It may well take an NRA member shooting a few dozen of Steve Scalise’s fellow Congressmen to change the mindset in Congress,but that would be a small price to pay when compared to the number of innocent Americans killed by guns each year. If new gun laws make criminals out of gun lovers,you can lock them all up & throw away the keys as far as I’m concerned.

        • Waxy:

          I’ll just repeat what a wise progressive once said:

          > Is it any wonder that young people have so little respect for the law ? Quit going out of your way to make criminals out of our children.

          • I believe that minors shouldn’t be allowed to possess handguns without the supervision of their legal guardians,that’s the law in California. You must be 18 to buy a rifle or shotgun & 21 to purchase a handgun. Surprisingly there are no laws prohibiting the possession of rifles & shotguns by minors ! Children with guns cause an inordinate amount of carnage in the United States each year. Any minor who is convicted of possessing a gun that they’re not legally entitled to have should be committed to the California Youth Authority until their 25th birthday (the maximum age allowed by law). That’s the law now & it’s vigorous enforcement coupled with lengthy mandatory sentencing would go a long ways toward making our cities safer.

            Restricting the driving privileges of those old enough to possess guns in an effort to protect us from them & them from themselves seems foolhardy at best (they could be armed after all). As opposed to guns you can see a car coming at you & they’re impossible to conceal on your body. Further,this story doesn’t have any information about the proposed penalties for violating these restrictions or their effect on the driving records of those convicted. What I want to know is how much new revenue do they estimate that this measure will add to our state coffers ? How much money will insurance companies make by raising the premiums of those families whose children violate this new statute ? Which special interest lobbyists are backing this measure by throwing campaign money at our legislators ? And which legislators are fattening their campaign war chests in exchange for their votes ?

    • > I thought we were all going to be shuttled around in self driving cars by 2020.

      Correct. The lunkheads just don’t realize it yet.

  3. Why stop at 21? Next it will be 25, then 30.

    We should have higher expectations for teens and young people, rather than continuing to lower our expectations and treat them like babies who can’t make their own decisions.

      • Because anyone who is presently under 30 would still be able to retire at 65,it doesn’t apply to them. Ay,caramba ! How many Corona Extras do you need to drink before you lose your ability to comprehend one sentence ?

  4. IMHO, a novice driver is a novice driver, whether they are 16, 18, 25 or older. New drivers need parameters while learning. New Jersey now requires new drivers of all ages to participate in some kind of formal preparation for life-long driving: I don’t like the title of this article because it implies that 18 has always been the true mark of adult-hood. I think about how I interacted at 18 and 25 and at 40 and at 56 I’m still not sure that in all ways I would even qualify as adult enough to do certain things. :) Seriously, age has absolutely nothing to do with driving ability. Everyone starts out with no experience and hopefully stays out of trouble long enough to gain experience. Maturity helps, but it is not the automatic guarantee of successful driving. I don’t like the good grade discount for students when compared to not getting a discount for driver education. We all know lots of really smart kids that make innocent and costly mistakes behind the wheel. At least a new trend is showing that driver education is helping set our novice drivers up for better success behind the wheel. Just sayin’

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