In the past couple of months, seven teenagers have died in two high-speed, sickening car accidents.
In both cases, the drivers had already proven their recklessness on the road, but were still behind the wheel of hot Subaru sports cars that nobody who’s 17 ought to be driving.
What angers me most about the accident yesterday is that Anthony Apruzzese, the driver, had no business driving anything faster than a 10-speed.
Look at what the Waterbury Republican-American has uncovered about Apruzzese’s driving record if you want to see government failure at its best.
Since he got his license 14 months ago, Apruzzese racked up a speeding ticket in November, another one a few days later and a ticket after that for improper seat belt us.
Then, in March, he slammed a car into a tree at 90 miles an hour – while he was drunk.
Amazingly, he got his driver’s license back 90 days later.
Yesterday, of course, Apruzzese ceased needing a license. And two girls, 14 and 15, died along with him after he veered into the path of a delivery truck at high speed.
Of course, the driver bears most of the blame. His parents will also have to live with their failures in this.
But what concerns me is how come this guy was allowed to keep driving?
Capt. Domenic Angiolillo, Wolcott police spokesman, told the Waterbury paper that “he had frequently spoken to Apruzzese about his driving habits, including at least six times in September alone. He said Abruzzese was always respectful and polite.”
"He was a good kid who just made some bad choices," Angiolillo told the paper.
But among the bad choices in this whole sorry mess are ones made by lawmakers in Hartford.
The law should be changed, as quickly as possible, to crack down on this type of teenage recklessness.
Anyone under 21 who is found guilty of drunk driving should have no chance at all to recover his or her license until they are 21. That just seems like a no-brainer, for so many obvious reasons.
Moreover, anybody under 21 who gets a second speeding ticket should also lose the right to drive, maybe for a year.
But if anyone under 21 is caught going more than 20 miles over the speed limit, which is pretty darn fast, they shouldn’t even get a chance to rack up another ticket.
It’s not teen drivers who are the menace. It’s reckless teen drivers.
Once they’ve proven themselves unfit to be behind the wheel, make damn sure they’re not. It’s our responsibility to protect the rest of society from the danger they pose, of course, but it’s also our duty to protect them from themselves.
Kids make mistakes. But we should make it a whole lot harder for them to make the same mistakes over and over until they get killed from them.
I don't want to see more teenagers smashed up and dead like the ones who who died in Bristol in July and in Wolcott yesterday. Let's do something about it.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org