In different places all over the world, the age that one has to attain to drive have been set. However, different countries around the world set the age differently depending on the age they determine as fit. All these regulations are made for safety reasons ensuring that the young drivers are mature enough not to engage in reckless driving that could endanger their lives and the lives of other road users. In Canada, the age of eligibility for a driving license is sixteen years. This has been an issue of contention as people state that it is the right age while others ask the government to extend the age to nineteen years.
The issue that has brought the arguments with regard to the age of eligibility for a driving license is whether a sixteen-year-old individual is mature enough to handle driving and its pressures. For instance, Milloy, in the study of the Effects of Experience on Hazard Perception of Novice Teenage Drivers (2010), found out that more novice teenagers in the first six months of driving were exposed to common hazardous events, such as unexpected vehicle breaking, acceleration profiles and horizontal gaze variability, as compared to experienced drivers. This study shows that teenagers at the age of sixteen years are not ready for eligibility for a driving license because they are prone to hazards that are dangerous for them and other road users. After the driving lessons and the acquisition of a driving license, a mature driver should not make mistakes in the road, up to a period of six months (Milloy, 2010). This shows that sixteen year olds are not ready for driving license and the age should be increased to nineteen years.
Ivers et.al. (2009) found out that novice drivers engaged in risky driving behavior had poor perceptions for safety and were also linked to increased crash risk even after two years of recruitment (Ivers et. al., 2009 ). This study shows an overrepresentation of youths in crashes that involved casualties. The young drivers in Canada have been seen to be constantly engaged in risky driving behavior that is a major public health issue. This justifies the call for the increase of the age of eligibility for a driving license to nineteen years of age. It is dangerous for Canada as a country to allow its young population to engage in risky behavior that could be costly to the development of the country (Koppel, Bohensky, Langford & Taranto, 2011). If the situation is not controlled, the country might reach a point when there will be more aging population than the young population. This is dangerous for the development of the country because energetic people are needed for a country’s development progress. Therefore, the eligibility age should be increased.
Getting a driving license at the age of sixteen is an exciting and much-awaited rite of passage for most teenagers. Teenagers at the age of sixteen are easily distracted and tend to take risks to impress other teenagers and show their prowess. This is dangerous because driving is not something to prove ones prowess on or to be highly excited of to the extent of causing accidents. As such, many teenagers are at an increased chance of causing accidents. Therefore, teenagers should start the drivers’ training at the age of fifteen, but be given licenses at the age of nineteen when they have gained experience (Sivak, & Schoettle, 2012).
In conclusion, the age of eligibility for a driving license in Canada should be increased to 19 to avoid the risk of accidents posed by novice drivers. This will allow teenagers start their drivers’ training at the age of fifteen and gain experience for the whole period until the age of nineteen. This will ensure that the risks powered by teenage drivers are decreased and safe driving is promoted in Canada.