No Time for Driving

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Alex Goldmark, reporter for WNYC's Transportation Nation, talks about the latest survey to show fewer teens are getting licensed to drive. 

Comments [30]

The later people learn to drive, the better. We know the brain develops the facility to show good judgement at a later age, and having 16 year-old kids driving one-ton vehicles at high speeds is very dangerous. Maybe this is why our traffic crash rates are falling?

Aug. 09 2013 01:41 PM
Alex from Brooklyn

The comments deriding "this lazy generation" who "only care about their screens" because they don't care about driving really make me chuckle. You can just as easily make statements about how previous generations were lazy because they didn't want to walk anywhere and only cared about their cars. In the end, it's just noise from the get off my lawn set who fear the change that inevitably comes as younger generations come of age.

Aug. 08 2013 05:18 PM
Rick from Minneapple a misnomer

Lived in Manhattan for 36 years and never needed to own a car.

Here in Minneapolis the only people I see when I'm walking are those driving their cars. No subway and bus available if my destination is downtown.

Aug. 08 2013 01:53 PM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Tish from NYC, Kudos.

Aug. 08 2013 12:36 PM
Tish from NYC

Knowing how to drive and having a valid license and owning/using a car for routine transportation are two different issues. I don't own a car and mostly use public transit to get around, even when leaving the city. But I certainly know how to drive, including a standard transmission, and I keep my NY license up-to-date.

Given how our world works and that we regularly ride in vehicles, knowing how to drive is a basic competency for adulthood. Like knowing how to swim, as Ned noted, or knowing how to file your taxes, navigate a circuit breaker box, cook a meal, balance a checking account. I could go on. If we live in this modern world it's an adult's responsibility to learn the skills to live in it and take care of ourselves.

What happens if you're in a car or taxi and the driver gets sick, or worse, has a heart attack? What are you going to do -- text your mother to pick you up?

Aug. 08 2013 12:30 PM
Nick from UWS

I wholeheartedly agree with john from the office below. I've never seen a stupider more brainwashed generation of people than are walking around now with their heads up their Apple behinds, reading about everything and understanding nothing.

Aug. 08 2013 12:07 PM
Karis from New Haven, CT

I'm grew up in the suburbs and I cherished getting my drivers license the day i turned 16. At 24 I moved to Brooklyn and was happy to sell my car to help finance my move. While living in the city I let my license expire, it was even a point of pride for me, I had MTA and a bike! When I recently moved to Connecticut, I was disappointed that had to get a new license. I do drive a bit now but it no longer has any the charm it had 15 years ago, and I still miss public transit everyday.

Aug. 08 2013 12:06 PM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

This is a myopic New York centered conversation.
People want a lot of things; the young don’t want to drive. Great.
I just came back from the West. You don’t drive or can’t drive you are stuck. Where is the national effort to create enormous public transport infrastructure?

Aug. 08 2013 12:05 PM
john from office

I listen to WNYC for news and good talk. This is a terrible segment about a generation of idiots, all looking at a screen. No one speaks english anymore. pod people!

Aug. 08 2013 12:04 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I'm an old lady, but I've been driving since I was sixteen. For transportation, I use my feet, my scooter, my bicycle, my car, public transportation, but whichever mode of transportation I use is the one that is appropriate for the situation. For example, I always take public transportation to work because I hate driving in traffic and there's no place to park near my office. But I do use my car to do grocery shopping because there are some things I buy that are just too heavy to shlep on buses and trains.

There are many reasons to have a license, not the least of which is state identification, and just having a license does not mean that one is required to own a car. However, driving is a useful skill to have and it can also be a way to earn money. Even if you don't own a car, you may wish to rent one while on vacation, or you may work at a garage fixing cars and need to move the cars from the parking lot to the service bay.

Actually getting the license may take a little time and money, but once you've passed the driving test, you never have to take it again (although I'm beginning to think that should be a requirement), so the time factored into a lifetime is negligible, but the skill is invaluable. Go for it!

Aug. 08 2013 11:59 AM
John A

Can't update FB status from behind the wheel. Can't text from behind the wheel.

Aug. 08 2013 11:58 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Mike: designated drivers have to park somewhere!

Aug. 08 2013 11:58 AM
Cynthia from East Harlem - work

I am chuckling about this. I didn't get mine til I was 26 (now 51) as when I grew up it was so expensive in the 5 boroughs to be an insured driver back then and we only had the one car. So for a "part-time" driver my parents nixed that - but I had 3 bus lines and 2 subway line & a metro north station totally accessable. I went to college in Buffalo but on a city campus and we walked everywhere or bussed it. Even though we moved to Yonkers by the time I was back it still had a decent bus system and we were on the main line. When I got finally got it, it was liberating to a point. My chuckle is that my nephew is one of those 16 year olds (lives in New Rochelle) who has no burning interest in learning to drive.


Aug. 08 2013 11:58 AM
Ned from NYC

Maybe this will all become irrelevant soon, once we have driverless cars.

Aug. 08 2013 11:58 AM
Nick from UWS

THAT'S RIGHT. There should be zero-tolerance for slovenly driving when a kid takes a driver's test. ZERO. Because then habits get entrenched which will be fatal later on.

Aug. 08 2013 11:58 AM
ivan obregon from nyc

have you looked at how much more is required than before? everything from the manual to the extra time required for driver's ed to the cost of a new car to the price of gas to insurance to the cost of tolls to ever-worsening traffic to the cost of maintenance to the cost of parking garages to the effect of "points" and parking tickets to towaways to.....the lack of disposable income at jobs that pay young people too little to get this...."luxury". Motorcycle's licences are even harder to get.....

we need more and better mass transit infrastructure but in America, this is still....a European socialist dream.

Aug. 08 2013 11:57 AM
Ana from LES

I'm almost 48 and never got my license. Lifelong Manhattanite. Am trying to learn now.

Aug. 08 2013 11:57 AM
David from Montclair

Are young people avoiding growing up?

Aug. 08 2013 11:57 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Last time I renewed my license, I went to a DMV Express location in midtown, & it really was express. You go to a desk up front & tell them what you need to do, the person tells you how to get it done, & just that saves a lot of time. Even waiting on line didn't take long. It's not like the stereotype anymore, so don't put it off on the basis of not having time.

Aug. 08 2013 11:56 AM
Seferina Berch from Manhattan

I am a 21 year old from Manhattan and I go to school in Chicago. I don't even have a learner's permit and use my passport to get into bars. My reasons are transportation related - I live in two urban centers that have great public transportation system or where walking is a perfectly adequate substitute.
My mom, who doesn't have a license either, wants me to learn so I can eventually drive her places

Aug. 08 2013 11:55 AM
Nick from UWS

The later you get your license, the better for you and everyone else on the road. Because you need adult judgment to drive, and the full realization of how potentially deadly an activity it is, which idiotic kids do not have. I think you shouldn't learn to drive until your 25.

Aug. 08 2013 11:55 AM
Bonnie from New Jersey

roads are in bad shape, drivers are aggressive, people don't view cars as a status symbol as much as they used to, cars are expensive to buy and maintain, parking is hard to find or expensive - hopefully this will lead for more pressure to improve mass transit all over the country.

Aug. 08 2013 11:54 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

Oh boy; if young people want the DMV to be an easy as logging on an
app, I'm glad that they don't drive. Many worthwhile
privileges in life take effort and some time.

And in all fairness, at least the Brooklyn DMV lines
are very well-organized, and move reasonably well.

Aug. 08 2013 11:52 AM
Tom Palasits from NYC

Too busy??? That is ridiculous. From what I see, it is simply a choice. A choice that includes relying on others for rides.

Aug. 08 2013 11:52 AM
Nick from UWS

I was raised in Manhattan....I didn't learn to drive until I was 29 years old. Being a city boy, I just didn't think about it or think it was necessary. When I finally did it and got my license (passed the test the first time), it was one of the greatest things ever. I treasure having a driver's license, even if I don't use it that often.

Aug. 08 2013 11:50 AM
Mike from Williamsburg, Brooklyn

I have a license because I got one when I grew up in the suburbs, but I've only driven twice in the last 5 years. Driving is for people who don't have smart phones or who don't go to bars. I moved to New York for college so I'd never have to drive and that's the number one reason I stay.

When I visit suburbs, nothing shocks and horrifies me like seeing a bar with a parking lot. It's like if you saw a 3rd grader with a cigarette.

Aug. 08 2013 11:49 AM
Ned from NYC

My child grew up in Manhattan, and is now in her early 20s. Since I don't own a car, I couldn't teach her to drive and she isn't remotely interested in taking a driving class. I'm concerned; I think the skill of driving is as important as being able to swim.

Aug. 08 2013 11:48 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I agree with John A that getting around virtual reality is becoming more important than actual reality.
For me personally, the "end of driving" came in late 1999, when after 35 years of doing it, I stopped. Thankfully, I live in Queens where I can get around easily without a car.
I think the electric car might save the automobile industry and the planet as well eventually.

Aug. 08 2013 11:48 AM
antonio from baySide

With all the streetcar lines being built (DC, Portland, Charlotte and many more!) will we finally reverse all the devastation Robert Moses caused?

Aug. 08 2013 11:43 AM
John A

Or, is getting around in the virtual reality world more important than getting around in the real reality one? Certainly for this age group.

Aug. 08 2013 09:11 AM

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