BL Spotlight

Driver’s Licenses Are Not Priority for Some Seniors

 

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An example of a Maryland driver’s license for an under 21-year-old driver. Photo courtesy of howardcountymd.org

When high school students reach their final year before going off to college, most students have acquired their driver’s license by this time.

The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland is no exception to this trend.  While almost all students have gone through the necessary process that it takes to acquire a driver’s license, not everyone in the senior class has done so.  

There are usually a variety of different rationales for why students do not have their licenses by spring of senior year.  Some common rationales include time constraint, laziness, costliness, and not having a need for one.

As a senior in high school, Cole Jarrett has a lot on his plate.  He is an excellent student who takes multiple AP courses, partakes in multiple clubs like robotics while also being the editor of the Boys’ Latin Inkwell.  He balances all of this while also playing year-round club baseball.

It is obvious to see that Jarrett has a hard time finding time to join a two-week long driver’s education class or six hours of drive times.  While Jarrett has not had time to set up his drive times or drivers ed, he has had his permit since the summer of 2016. His permit will expire in this upcoming summer, but Jarrett said, “I should be able to get my license by then, so it shouldn’t be a big deal.”

Classmates Jamie Rice, a varsity football wrestling and lacrosse player, and Paul Agbaje, an AP student who partakes in many different clubs, are both also very busy students who have time constricting obligations.  However, both have claimed to have had time to go through the process but have never actually done so because driving was not necessary for them.

Rice has lived a short walking distance from Boys’ Latin his entire life and has walked to school every day since first grade.  Most students want to get their license as early as they can so they can drive to school by themselves, but Rice does not have this extra incentive to acquire a driver’s license because he walks to school,  “I always thought I never really needed it because I could just walk to school and my friends would drive me anywhere I couldn’t walk to,” said Rice.

Unlike Rice, Agbaje does not live within walking distance to school and is dropped off every day.  Agbaje said, “There’s no real rationale for me not having my license. It’s more like laziness in a way.  I only need to do one more drive time to get my license. I don’t know why I haven’t done it yet. I kind of procrastinated.”

Agbaje and Rice are similar in the way that both have no real need for their license.  Agbaje gets dropped off and picked up every day. Most days Agbaje has to wait upwards of an hour to be picked up and taken home, but he does not mind this because it gives him time to finish up his homework or play pickup basketball.  

Coming from the complete other side of the license acquiring spectrum is senior JP Barbeau.  Since JP was raised in Kansas, he followed the Kansas state driving rules. These rules are different than the Maryland state driving rules.

In Maryland, civilians cannot get their permit until 15 years and nine months, and then wait nine more months to be eligible for the driving test.  In Kansas, civilians can get their permit as soon as 14 years old and can then acquire their full license at 15 years of age.

“When I moved to Maryland, I was still able to drive under the Kansas state driving rules which meant I was able to drive before anybody in my class. While it was nice to be able to drive and have more freedom than my peers, it did get somewhat annoying when they would ask me to drive them everywhere,” said Barbeau.

 

Categories: BL Spotlight

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