16 Too Young to Drive in Iowa, Says Local Group

IOWA (FOX42KPTM) -- One group wants to put the brakes on 16 year-olds from getting their driver's licenses in Iowa. It says by doing so it can reduce the number of deadly teen crashes but not everyone agrees with the proposed change. "I've pretty much wanted to get a license. Especially you know you get that freedom and that responsibility," said Breanna Manning. Breanna Manning says she can't wait to get her driver's license. A responsibility she says she's capable of at just 16 years old. "You can't always rely on your parents to do everything for you, you need to start being independent," said Manning. "It allows you to grow up in a sense," said Lexie French, a 15 year old who's in driving class. But some people think 16 is too young to handle that independence. The group the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety want Iowa teens to wait until they're 17 to drive. It says 43 teens were killed in car accidents in Iowa from 2012 to 2013 and those killed were between 13 to 19 years old. The group believes changing the licensing age will help save lives. "I think we all an issue of that distracted driving, being on our cellphones, talking to passengers, but honestly I don't think a year would make a difference at all," said Anna Venditte, a driving instructor at the Cornhusker Driving School in Omaha. Venditte says it's not about a teen's age; it's about them getting practice behind the wheel. "The sooner they get out there, now obviously you don't want it to be soon but the more experience they have the better off they're going to be in the long run," said Venditte. Some lawmakers say it'll be tough change the teen driver rules in Iowa because many teens live in rural areas and need a car to drive to school and work. But they are working to reduce the number of deadly crashes.
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