Mid-Pacific Student: Road Safety Experts?


Emi Lew

An illustration of a man driving unsafely with a bottle of beer.

Ryan Choi, Staff Writer

One of the rights of passage for teens is driving. And from the looks of it, Mid-Pacific drivers are making it through this passage safely.

Driving can be difficult and dangerous, but Mid-Pacific students are careful enough to not have accidents.

We know the potential hazards associated with driving: using electronic devices, and driving when drunk or driving under the influence. The reckless driving penalties are different in every state. In Hawaii, when driving more than 30 miles above the speed limit, a driver can be fined $1,000 and receive a jail sentence of up to 30 days.

And then there are simply reckless drivers. This includes reckless speeding, racing, making improper turns, passing, following, and not signaling, This can be more dangerous when teens drive as they don’t have the same level of experience as adults.

These factors can make teen driving a problem. The risk of vehicle crashes is higher for teens aged 16 to 19 than any other age group. According to the CDC, teen drivers between the age of 16 to 19 are nearly three times as likely as drivers aged 20 or older to be in a fatal crash.

Jason-Edward McEnerney is an IB math teacher. He believes that driving as a teen is not a problem but reckless driving as a whole is. People speeding, honking, and road rage contribute to reckless driving. Having reckless driving here in Hawaii is not safe and does not have the safety features of most other places.

The issue is not teenage driving.

“Being a teenager is an issue,” said McEnerney.

Maile Hirschmann, a junior, has personally experienced driving recklessly. She has used her phone while driving for the first time. The reason behind this was “I needed to do it right now.”

She also believes that adults get away with texting and driving more because they have more experience behind the wheel. But it can still be dangerous.

“I think that parents, adults in general drive equally or even more badly as children but just because they have better driving skills so they can get away with it.”

Another problem is not having knowledge of parking.

Junior Sam Matthews said, “I thought students were allowed to park here.”

An incident happened when he was parking his car, his car was towed after school when he was going outside to get Starbucks, he parked in the Church parking lot where he believed it was all right.

This was not the issue because his car was towed and had to call the towing company to get his car back, which cost $180.

The Driver’s Ed hours throughout the school help the Mid-Pacific students to be good drivers and follow the laws. Since the State of Hawaii requires at least six hours behind the wheel with an instructor, Mid-pacific has provided Driver Education to reach those conditions. Mid-Pacific students attend the driving education program to get smarter and safer.