This weekend, a friend got herself into a little fender bender. If you can call having your fender ripped off your car a “bender.” When she first called, she was PISSED. Seems a 17 year old, driving without a license or insurance had hit her. How many times have you heard that story?
When she called back, she was more pissed, but also shocked. It seems the police had arrived. And given her a ticket.
See, the young man had his blinker on, indicating he was going to turn. So my friend pulled into traffic. But he didn’t turn. And two wrongs collided.
So, who do I think is el stupido in this equation? Texas, The Great State of.
See, we’re completely wrongheaded when it comes to driving here. People think it’s a right. In fact, most people in this whole country think their privileges are “rights” and don’t understand the difference. I’m shocked on an almost-daily basis by the dumb ass moves stupid drivers pull. Turning across traffic after the light has turned red. Changing lanes without looking to see if someone is right beside them. Turning left from the right lane, or, my favorite, just deciding that the first lane over from the turn lane is okay to turn from, too. And don’t even get me started on the ubiquity of cell phones in the hands of already bad drivers.
Now, in Texas (as in most states), you are required to have car insurance at all times. And it goes without saying that you have to have a driver’s license. You can’t get your car inspected or registered without both of those documents.
But did ya know that in this Land O’Bush (the bad kind, not the lesbian utopia—sorry ladies), kids also don’t have to go take a driving test anymore. When I was 16, I had to go sit next to a hot state trooper in his Texas Tan uniform. Hard enough to drive properly at that age, much less keep my eye on the road. But I did it. And I passed.
Now, when a Driver’s Ed instructor says you’re good to go, you get a license!! No muss. No fuss. No trooper. Until that first fender bender. Which brings us back to the 17 year old.
I think he should go to jail. Not for long. Just long enough to inconvenience at least one member of his family. Doesn’t seem like much to ask in exchange for driving without a license or insurance. Or how about a pre-paid, non-refundable six-month auto policy before he can be released? Seems fair to me.
Of course, in his seventeen-year-old mind, he probably thinks getting his Mustang fucked up was punishment enough.