Students Driving You Crazy: Violating the Permit Law


Feature photo by Luis Ramos: Student Aaron Braun driving in the Rangeview parking lot.

By: Luis Ramos, News Reporter

Most teenagers think about the day they finally obtain their driver’s permit, it makes them feel bigger and more important. The first thing they have in mind is picking up their buddies, leaving the house for a while, simply wandering off on their own. But what they don’t realize, is that a permit could be very different from a license.

The DMV site says, “Obtaining a driver license is a much more in-depth process than it used to be; the days of studying for and obtaining your learner’s permit only to turn right around and take the exam for your driver license are almost obsolete.” Yes, drivers may go through certain demands from their states, but there are also more universal laws people continue to ignore.

“I’ve been driving for 15 years, permit holders have been driving for much less time,” said Casey Hafner, a social studies teacher at Rangeview. “ I understand why they don’t follow all the laws, but if you’re learning how to drive, then you’re probably not such a good driver to begin with.”

Following the speed limit, putting on your seat belt, parking correctly, using turn signals correctly or at all, and much more are things that people continue to ignore the most. The Colorado law still enforces many similar rules for license and permit drivers. However, the laws enforced for permit drivers has its differences.

Young drivers between 15-20, many with permits, account for 6.4% of car crashes on the road. About 16-19 are killed everyday. Some left with life changing injuries and bad memories. Most of these teenage drivers have admitted to be driving alone or with a group of friends.

“I’ve had my permit for almost 3 months now. If you know how to drive then you shouldn’t have so many restrictions all of the time,” said junior Gagun Dhaurali. “I do follow the common road laws, but if I live in a more closed area with not a lot of traffic, then I should be able to drive by myself at least 1 mile. I’ll drive by myself eventually so why not start practicing now?”

Gagun Dahurali's permit. (Luis Ramos)
Gagun Dahurali’s permit. (Luis Ramos)

One thing, coming from the Colorado driving permit law, is that one must be accompanied by a licensed driver every time they drive. Some people, however, may feel that some rules are enforced too much and support their reasons to why they have ignored them.

Despite that, drivers who now own a license and have had more experience driving express how they view the situation of new permit drivers ignoring the law.

Hafner said, “I understand the temptation of having more people with you in your car. I understand why that is a law, it’s distracting and dangerous.”

New driver’s may feel frightened behind the wheel for the first time, and eventually they may feel like some of those things are really unnecessary.

Another law states that permit drivers may not have any other passengers with them, unless they’ve had it for at least 6 months or there’s a licensed driver in the car with them.

Junior Tyrell Guilbea admitted to have been driving over the speed limit while having another student with them before his 6 months of having a license.

“What led me to do this was not caring about the consequences if I got caught or not. As I got older I realized it was a dumb decision,” said Guilbeau. “When I got my permit I thought I was somewhat better than the people who didn’t have a permit. I never thought I had the right to ignore the law, I just thought I could do it as long as I wouldn’t get caught.”

They say to appreciate what you have before it’s too late. The law in Colorado states that if the permit driver is caught doing something they are not supposed to, the probability of losing it is high and obtaining another is low. If the driver does, he or she should prepare to wait till they’re old enough to finally get a license.