Editor’s note: This letter was reprinted because the author was misidentified Sunday.
Sixteen-year-olds should have the same rights and requirements to drive as 18-year-olds and older.
The 14th Amendment, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitution states that “no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” When getting your license at 16, Washington state forces extra requirements on teens, such as passing driver’s education class and having a permit for six months; and gives fewer rights, such as not allowing passengers under 20 years old unless they are immediate family.
This abridges privileges; the 14th Amendment is being violated.
Also, the Washington state constitution states, “No law shall be passed granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens or corporations.” This means no class of citizens should have special benefits.
The law needs to be changed. All ages should be required to take driver’s education class, and the six-month permit rule should be eliminated altogether.