The telephone. The airplane. TV dinners.
Given enough time, man can dream up anything. But it takes a creative Westporter to think of this idea:
Lower the driving age to 14.
A middle-aged neighbor — who asked to remain nameless — has devised a new way to meld environmentalism and puberty.
“Everyone says kids are not responsible,” he explains. “I think we need to give them more responsibility.”
At a time when our entire nation needs to be more responsible — particularly if we want future generations to do things like drive and live — this Westporter suggests handing car keys to boys and girls a year after their bar or bat mitzvahs. Here’s the catch: They could not drive high-speed vehicles.
“America needs to produce new types of cars,” he says. “But manufacturers don’t think there’s a market for them. If we allow 14- and 15-year-olds to drive — but not let them on highways, or in cars that go over 45 miles an hour — we’ll expand the market. There’ll be a new sector for efficient, low-cost, locally driven cars.” One more buzzkill for young drivers: Their cars would be small enough to carry only one or two passengers.
The Westporter has a 14-year-old daughter. Would he actually let her get behind the wheel?
“Sure!” he says cheerfully. “She’d be a better driver than me tomorrow!”
He is a brave man indeed. Just not brave enough to allow his name to be printed publicly.