Some say it's a good idea, others say it's degrading.

Liz Pike, who represents Camas, WA, is pushing to pass a bill to require teenage drivers to have a special marker on their vehicle. She says the idea has been adopted in other states and has reportedly lowered teen accident rates.

The sticker is a large red rectangle and says, "NEW DRIVER" in large white letters. She says after such programs were implemented in New Jersey, fatal and serious injury accidents have dropped 9.5 percent over the last three years. Other studies and test programs reportedly have produced similar results.

Pike claims 11 percent of all motorists in Washington state are new teenagers, and 35 percent of the accidents in her jurisdiction involve teen drivers. Response to the bill has been split 50/50 between those who like it and those who don't, with the bulk of support coming from parents of teen drivers. Northwest Cable News and KING-5 TV conducted an informal poll of various drivers after the bill was announced.

However, opponents say it's akin to the "scarlet letter," and would promote ridicule and promote the idea that teens are not good or safe drivers. They say it would also cause motorists to go out of their way to avoid such drivers, but at the expense of keeping an eye on other vehicle around them.

And then there's the cost. The program would initially provide the static-cling stickers for teens who are 16 and 17 years of age. But once they turn 18 til they turn 20, the driver themselves would have to pay an additional fee when renewing or getting their license to pay for the sign. Obviously the cost of a sticker probably won't be huge, but when you are dealing with a state agency, it's almost sure to be far more expensive than the private sector.

No information was given by Pike as to what the cost to taxpayers would be to create and provide the stickers for the 16 and 17 year old drivers.

We are Newstalk 870 get what they are trying to do, but something about it just smacks of another example of a nanny state. More embarrassing government intrusion.


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