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Please help me with proper punishment for D

BayBay 12456 replies43 threads Senior Member
edited August 2007 in Parent Cafe
D got her driver's license 12 days ago on 16th birthday. At DMV, the lady behind the counter reminded her that she may not drive the car with another person under 25 as passenger for a year, and handed her a flier with that info. At home, I reminded her that she may not drive any of her friends in the car for a year.

Last night, while driving home from a friends house, she was pulled over and ticketed for (what else?) driving with her friend in the car.

Any wise suggestions for proper punishment? Obviously, she must pay the fine and any traffic school fees out of her own money. I was thinking of forbidding her to drive the car to any social functions until she is 17. (H is out of town, but usually cedes to my authority on this.)

I'd appreciate any input or commiserating. Thank you.
edited August 2007
262 replies
Post edited by Bay on
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Replies to: Please help me with proper punishment for D

  • weenieweenie 5444 replies349 threads Senior Member
    Didn't she need a permit first? What state is this? 16 is SO young to have a license! Oh my gosh.

    My kids never had the car at 16 - and strictly controlled at 17. You asked - but I wouldn't have let my 16 year olds drive to social functions. No way.
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  • MarianMarian 13230 replies83 threads Senior Member
    If you are going to allow her to continue to drive at all (which might be a necessity if she needs to drive to school or a job), she should also pay any increase in the family's auto insurance bill that results from her ticket.

    If she were my kid, I would either prohibit her from driving for a substantial period of time (perhaps 6 months) or, if there is a real need for her to drive (to school or a job), I would allow her to drive only for that purpose for a period of time (again, probably 6 months).
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  • doubleplaydoubleplay 3433 replies117 threads Senior Member
    I'll commiserate-when my oldest turned 16 he got a ticket for running a red light, literally weeks after getting the license. I was pretty upset- he paid for the ticket and the online traffic school. I have to say, we had many a discussion before he got his license about how to approach a light, when to go, when to put on the brakes, and according to him this was one of those situations where a yellow light turned red momentarily before he ran it- during that twilight zone of "do I go or do I lock up the brakes". Thank God no one was hurt. Anyway, he hasn't had a ticket since (knock on wood) and he's soon to be 20 and drives a LOT.

    In the long run, getting that ticket so soon after getting his license probably made him into a more conscientious driver. There's nothing like a cop pulling you over to scare you half to death. It's one of those "it can't happen to me" things. Kids sometimes need a wakeup call to tell them that, yes it can happen to you- you will get caught!

    Is this a regular drivers license or a learner's permit? I've never heard of not being able to drive with people under 25 with a regular license.

    Also, his insurance didn't go up because where we live you can do an online traffic class (twice I believe) before you get points.
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  • StickerShockStickerShock 3712 replies69 threads Senior Member
    I was thinking of forbidding her to drive the car to any social functions until she is 17.
    Sounds about right to me. You probably don't want to forbid use of the car because she can drive herself to work, or run errands for you, & total restriction becomes your punishment as much as hers.
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  • BayBay 12456 replies43 threads Senior Member
    This is California - Learner's permits are obtainable at 15 1/2 and driver's licenses at 16. The driver's license is considered "provisional" (revocable) until 18, and new licensees may not drive the car with any other passengers under 25 in car, unless another licensed driver over 25 is also in the car.

    Also, when I said "social functions," I meant anything other than school, sports practice or work.
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  • SpringfieldMomSpringfieldMom 1027 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Yikes, she got her license on her 16th birthday! I agree with you that she shouldn't drive to social functions for a year. That's the agreement with had with D also (prior to any tickets, mind you).

    Unfortunately, unlike doubleplay's S, getting into an accident early (and subsequent fines and points) did nothing to deter D from getting another ticket--this time for speeding. She goes to court for that in one week. Since receiving the speeding ticket, she has not been allowed to drive anywhere except to and from work or Dr.'s appointments.
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  • atomomatomom 4691 replies41 threads Senior Member
    No driving at night/after dark/to social functions. Driving only to school or work if needed. If you can still drive her around, I'd say do so for 3-6 months. Any other problems and no driving parents' cars period. Breaking the rules so quickly shows that she is not taking driving seriously enough--maybe she isn't ready.
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  • 4Giggles4Giggles 859 replies23 threads Member
    While I would still have her drive with you in the car (let's face it, they need all the practice they can get!) There needs to be consequences. My punishment would be not going anywhere for full week no friends etc, and no driving anywhere without you for one month. Granted This will be a pain for you, but not following the rules first day out is not a good sign. Obviously paying the ticket and any required increase in insurance should be her responsibility.

    I would also establish rules and consequences going forward.

    Such as:

    NEVER use cell phone or text while driving!! this is something I see many young drivers doing.
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  • WashDadWashDad 2614 replies81 threads Senior Member
    No driving without a parent in the car for <some period of time>. In my family it would be three months for a first offense. And she would have to pay for the increase in insurance rates out of her own pocket.

    EDITED: A traffic accident that was my kid's fault would be "no more driving until you are 18."
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  • momof2incamomof2inca 3419 replies65 threads Senior Member
    Exact same thing happened to my D, now 17 and a driver for the past 18 months. Twice.

    First time, I busted her pulling out of the driveway with a friend when I came home from work early one day. They were on their way to a concert that I had given permission for her to go to with the girls' parents. She didn't get to go and lost all driving privileges for two weeks (except to school and back). She was very angry about not seeing the concert. Big punishment.

    The second time, same friend, about 4 months later. She had pulled the car over one evening after a BBQ to talk to me on her cell and forgot to turn her lights back on while driving her friend through the neighborhood. A cop from the local college pulled them over and gave her a ticket for the lights AND the driving a friend. That plus traffic school cost her about $350 of her own money. Her privileges were suspended again and that was the only trouble she's been in (really, in her entire life, now that I think about it... she's a very cautious and rule-following kid). She came home after getting the ticket and burst into tears and was really shaken by the experience. She realized two things: tickets are expensive and she is the kind of person who gets busted. (In retrospect, I was very happy this experience happened to her because I think she really is careful to follow all laws now.)

    To answer your question, I think a two-week suspension of driving privileges and full payment of ticket and traffic school is sufficient, depending on your D's attitude. If she's blowing it off or saying "the law is so unfair" (like my S tends to do) then perhaps a longer suspension. But I think not driving to social functions for an entire year is overkill. Plus, you should calmly explain that one more ticket for any reason will surely raise her insurance rates and that she will be responsible for the increase, which could last a couple of years.

    This could be a blessing in disguise... nobody was hurt, she wasn't being especially reckless, she has to pay for her deceit. Not a bad lesson to learn right off the bat (though I do know how you feel, Bay, it's not great to learn your child just chooses to disregard the law.
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  • BiohelpmomBiohelpmom 305 replies14 threadsUser Awaiting Email Confirmation Junior Member
    The whole 16 year old driving thing is so scary to me, as my town has had SO many fatalities and kids left as vegetables and it doesn't seem to change anyone's behavior- teens or parents. Such a waste! So many families devastated! Our approach to parenting a teen may be completely different, but we are not strict about certain things (dating, drinking in moderation, running around Europe with friends), and we do not let our kids get into a car with anyone under 18. They do not get their own licenses until age 17. So far, they are still alive!
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  • curiousercuriouser 1342 replies20 threads Senior Member
    We had to deal with punishment for D due to two speeding tickets, so I understand your concern. Kids in general are not very good drivers even under the best of circumstances. There's no way I'd have one of mine driving at all for awhile if she/he shattered my faith right out of the gate!

    Obviously, having her handle the costs incurred here is just a first step. Another potential cost, depending on how your state handles it is a hefty insurance rate increase......

    She so flagrantly violated your admonishment (not to mention breaking the law) SO SOON after earning the privilege to drive, which warrants pretty serious consequences in my book. My opinion is that she has completely broken any bond of trust concerning driving and must earn it back.

    I'd probably do a graduated system of getting privileges back, something like:
    FIRST, NO DRIVING AT ALL for 3 months. She doesn't deserve it and clearly doesn't appreciate the serious responsibility she was given.

    For the next 3 months:
    Only allowed to drive to what's required--ie, school, job, extracurricular activities.

    If it were my kid, I'd feel she didn't deserve to drive to ANY social functions at all for some time to come. I probably would say to her that I might consider letting her drive to social functions after 6-9 months, but only after seeing how she handled the little bit of driving allowed early on.

    We also made it clear D was always to call immediately upon arrival at any destination and also when she was on her way back. Any violation of that resulted in losing car privileges as well.

    A little tough love will pay off in a case like this. Good luck.
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  • doubleplaydoubleplay 3433 replies117 threads Senior Member
    I would consider your D's reaction to the situation.

    When my son was pulled over, he called me from the side of the road practically hyperventilating, he was so shaken up. I calmed him down before he started the car up again and drove home. He was positively white faced. I think the sheer terror and shock of being pulled was an experience he didn't really want to repeat any time soon. (16 year olds are scared so much easier than their cohorts one or two years older!)

    I almost felt sorry for him, he was so traumatized.

    My other son, OTOH, has been pulled over and "warned" twice for speeding, by his own admission. I don't know what it's going to take to get him to slow it down, except a speeding ticket.
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  • MarianMarian 13230 replies83 threads Senior Member
    I don't think a short suspension of driving privileges (like a couple of weeks) is sufficient here.

    This isn't the kind of driving mistake that results from inexperience -- like doubleplay's son not being able to figure out whether he could or could not make it through a yellow light. This is outright defiance of both the law and parental instructions.
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  • minimini 26172 replies259 threads Senior Member
    I would suggest you pledge to do without your favorite food for 12 days, representing the time between when she got her license and her ticket. (A 12-day water/juice fast would be better.)

    The point is that there are no "natural" consequences other than paying the fine, the traffic school fees, and any change in your insurance. The social consequence of betraying one's trust is that one loses trust. So if there are to be "social" consequences, they should be ones that she will remember as consequences that relate to your no longer trusting her as much, not punishments (which are always easier, and what we often gravitate to.) The other thing to do is to go to court and ask them to revoke her license for 6 months (or whatever seems appropriate), because she has betrayed your trust. And SHE has to figure out how to get around, and not have you drive her.
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  • unregisteredunregistered 1177 replies3 threads Senior Member
    It's a regular license, I assume. It's a common law in many states for the first 6 or so months prior to getting a license.
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  • UCgradmaryUCgradmary 459 replies28 threads- Member
    Bay, I'm with your instinct, this should be a serious punishment to impress upon your daughter how serious this violation was. You warned her, they warned her in drivers ed, the nice lady at DMV warned her, the CA gov't warned her and she took none of you seriously.

    Kids just have a hard time understanding the damage they can do to themselves and others with a vehicle. Everyone should shadow an ER doctor for a day.

    And Mini, I disagree. This is a child driving a car most probably owned by parents. The consequences for all could be severe.
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  • cheerscheers 5054 replies109 threads Senior Member
    Punishing teenagers is a trick.

    Try to think of a punsihment that will truly discourage her the next time she has that thought.

    Personally, I favor hard labor--paint the basement, re-sod the lawn. 15 to 20 hours of grunt work.

    Also, embarrassment works a treat. Make sure she calls the father of the child who was in the car and apologizes for endangering his child. She'll not want to make that phone call again.
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  • TooRichForAidTooRichForAid 1018 replies1 threads Senior Member
    If this were my D, she would have to take the bus to school and work. So fare she has been responsible, always back at home by 11 P.M . Even when all her friends meet up at a theme park, they drive separately( unless somebody has been driving for more than a year). I even tell her not to talk and distract the girl that drives in case there might be accident.
    The way I see, she is breaking the law by driving another person.
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  • merrymommerrymom 108 replies3 threads- New Member
    How is your daughter doing in the rest of her life?

    Is she a good student, happy, normally well behaved, polite, socially acceptable?

    I've had two go through the teenage years, so far.

    The whining and excessive pestering that results when you punish too harshly makes it end up being your punishment.

    Have her pay the ticket and give her a second chance before adding any other punishment. That's what I would do. And lecture (they hate that).
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