Reduce the Legal Driving Age in Dubai to 17 and a Half
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Currently, the legal driving age in Dubai is 18. For many years now, the prospect of lowering the driving age has been discussed and circulated, yet no action has taken place. Dubai is one of the most advanced cities in the world due to the great work of His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Yet one area in which it is lacking is access to transportation. Teenagers lead busy lives; helping their parents with errands, taking part in sports, arts and other activities, and going out with friends. Parents are much too busy with work and other important duties that they do not have the time or energy to drive us around everywhere. So then we must turn to public transportation. The problem is, it is lacking. Taxis are too expensive, the bus is too slow and the metro is not yet extensive enough. The glaring solution to this problem is to lower the legal driving age from 18 to 17 and a half. This would allow teenagers to be independent and not reliant on their parents. Also, parents could now rely on their children to run errands for them or pick up their siblings, in general relieving a lot of stress from their lives. Of course, people will say that having more young drivers on the road is a terrible idea because it will cause more accidents. However, it is not age that determines whether or not someone is a safe driver. It is the training and skills that they are taught that determines that. If teens receive sufficient and proper driving education, they can be safer drivers than 90% of the drivers currently on the road. “Turning 18 does not instantly make someone a safer driver,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The maturity level of an 18 year old is almost exactly the same as someone only 6 months younger, so lowering the driving age by 6 months is not something drastic. Teens that are 17 and a half are already allowed to take driving lessons, so why not allow them to get their full license at that age? Moreover, not only will lowering the legal driving age save teens and adults from a lot of stress, it will be beneficial to Dubai as a community. Driving is a huge responsibility and if teens are taught how to deal with it at a younger age, they will take it much more seriously. It will be seen is a privilege and not a right. This is important because currently, young drivers that turn 18 take this huge responsibility for granted and turn to reckless driving. If young drivers are taught how to be safe drivers, then Dubai's roads will be better off for it. We are calling on His Highness and the RTA to lower the legal driving age to 17 and a half so that Dubai will be on par with the other great cities of the world in terms of access to transportation.
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