Some of our readers, doubtless, will have heard of this accident occurring a few days ago, where five high school graduates died in a headon crash with a tractor trailer truck about 25 miles southeast of me, here. I refrained from commenting, for several reasons, not least of which was that there were a number of issues as yet unresolved which I did not feel capable of staying on top of that time.

My instincts told me at the time that there was something major that was missing from the story.  Apparently, that has now come out, and is being reported via AP

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — AP- State records show the driver in the crash that killed her and four teenage friends in western New York had only a junior driver’s license, which made it illegal for her to be driving at that hour or carrying so many young passengers in her vehicle.

Bailey Goodman, 17, had a Class DJ license, which places added restrictions on the privileges for New York drivers under 18, authorities told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

Goodman and four other recent graduates of Fairport High School in suburban Rochester, all 17 or 18, died when the sport utility vehicle she was driving collided head-on with a tractor-trailer in the Finger Lakes region of New York on Tuesday at about 10 p.m. That was an hour later than state law permitted her to drive.

According to the state Department of Motor Vehicles, junior drivers cannot drive after 9 p.m

without a parent, guardian or someone performing parental duties, unless they’re going to work or school. They also cannot carry more than two passengers under 21 unless they’re members of the immediate family.

Drivers graduate from junior status when they turn 18 or complete a state-approved driver education course.

It’s not very often that I’m going to stick up for the government, and added laws. But in this case, as with the immigration debate, I’m going to suggest that there are some laws that are established for reason.  Consequences ensue, when those laws get ignored.

The story goes on to remind us, that this was not the only time just recently this is happened under these circumstances:

Brown also confirmed that Brian Sayasith, 17, of North Chili outside Rochester, driver in a one-car crash that killed him and two other teens about 10 p.m. on May 27 in Chili, also had a junior license. Two more young passengers were seriously injured.

And this is, in fact, only two of a rash of accidents around these parts, fatal accidents, were the drivers were twenty years old or younger.  A total, I believe, of ten fatalities in the Rochester area alone, within the last 30 days.

My heart goes out to those lost, and their families and friends.  But I have to say this;
I’m sorry folks, but it’s time to recognize that seventeen, and maybe up to 20, for that matter, is too damned young to be driving.  30 are 40 years ago, with less traffic on the roads?  We probably could have gotten away with it.  Not today.  Mistakes that we older folks used to get away with as a matter of routine under those lighter traffic conditions, can no longer be countenanced.

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