When you live in the country you know your children will almost certainly leave home for further education or work when they finish school.
Ensuring they get a driver’s licence and get practice driving when we have a fair bit of control over them is one of the ways we prepare our teens for life in the big, wide world.
Most farm kids learn to ride motorbikes and drive cars, utes and even tractors in paddocks before they are old enough to get the licence which allows them to start learning to drive on the road.
Most are keen to get their licence as soon as they can and parents are generally supportive of that because it gives the adolescents some independence and frees the parents from playing taxi driver.
If the suggestion that the age at which people can get a licence be raised to 17 is acted on then rural people will be disadvantaged. We don’t have public transport and do have bigger distances to take our offspring to school, sports, cultural and social activities.
However, rural roads are dangerous and the evidence that adolescents don’t have the intellectual capacity required for safe driving is compelling.
However, inconvenience is better than tragedy. Taxiing teenagers for longer is preferable to dealing with incapacity or death as the result of a vehicle accident.