By Robert Sumwalt
Talk to people who have been driving for 20 or 30 years and ask them what it was like to get their drivers license. You will realize quickly that things are really different now. Back then, you could go to your local DMV on your 16th birthday, pass a test, and walk out of there with a license that gave you full, unfettered driving privileges. It was as simple as that. In fact, you could leave the DMV, go pick up a carload of your friends at the high school, and celebrate your birthday until late that night. It was great! Or was it?
A lot has changed since those days, I think for the better. Many states today have graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs in which new drivers attain full driving privileges in stages. After completing one stage, a novice driver “graduates” to the next stage, gaining more responsibility, such as driving without a supervising adult or driving at later hours.