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My 16yo son just got a BIG speeding ticket....(26 posts)

My 16yo son just got a BIG speeding ticket....rwbadley
Nov 13, 2002 1:03 PM
He has his own car...but he took the family car out AFTER curfew (12 midnight) with one of his hooligan friends. They got popped for 100 mph on the highway in a 65mph area. (actually it was 99mph on the ticket) This was on 395 S @ Del monte.

I was happy to see him alive, of course. I would like to murderize the little creep, and put him out of his misery.

If I remember right, I may have had a speeding ticket or two at his age. I guess I don't want to be too much a hypocrite, but there needs to be an action taken here.

What would you do?
Take his keys.czardonic
Nov 13, 2002 1:22 PM
It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. The potentially catastropic consequences of that kind of driving go without saying.

I'd suspend his driving priviliges. If possible, make him get up early enough for you to drop him off at school on your way to work and wait after school until you pick him up on your way home). If its a hassle, find a way for him to compensate you for your time and effort.

We all bend the traffic laws a little, but given the astronomic injury and fatality statistics, I think it is time for everyone to take responsible driving a lot more seriously.
he won't go that fast on a biketrekkie1
Nov 13, 2002 1:36 PM
Problem with taking keys is that is often hurts the parents more than the kid. Now you have to cart him all over the place.

First, he pays for everything, including ticket and any resulting insurance increases (if you can get it).

Second, he never drives with any buddies in the car.

Third, he is limited to defined routes at defined times of he day.

Fourth, if he gets any more tickets, he's not driving until he's out of the house.
Nov 13, 2002 1:38 PM
I don't know that I'd let a 16yo drive a car w/o an adult along in the first place, hard to say. If I did, I'd have a zero tolerance policy for any abuse or moving violation. The way I see it he broke a few rules, endangered himself and his friends, and anyone else on/near the road. Of course boys will be boys, but it probably wasn't the first time it happened.

Every 10mph over 45mph doubles your chance of you or someone else dying in an accident. That is, he increased his chance of dying over 50 times. I'd have him pay for the increased insurance premium if he's still covered until he's 18 and wouldn't let him drive w/o an adult for a few months. Maybe take him along on some rides if you don't already so he can see first hand how poor driving decisions affect others.

Then again, what do I know...
bamboo under fingernailsJS Haiku Shop
Nov 13, 2002 1:41 PM
does he pay his own car insurance? bet that would make an impact on his driving style.

lock up the keys to the family car, for sure.

if it were my little one (he can't drive yet, he's only 3 feet tall), i'd make him #1 pay the ticket, #2 pay his own insurance, #3 do some community service.

yep, i said community service. how about 24 hours total? picking up trash on the interstate ROW seems appropriate. i'm sure you could hook him up with an "adopt a mile" organization someplace.

Tough one but..........Len J
Nov 13, 2002 1:51 PM
if you don't teach him the lesson, he is liable to learn it the hard way, by seriously injuring or killing someone. We just had a local accident where a 16 yer old girl killed a cyclist. The thought of one of my kids having to live with that for a few second lapse in judgement........

1.) He pays ticket. No help from you to "weasle out" of it. It always amazes me how parents will help there kids avoid responsibility & then wonder why their kids are irresponsible)

2.) He pays the insurance increase (and it will be hugh).

3.) No driving privlidges for X period of time, unless he is running an errand for the family, in which case he must go & come right back.

4.) See if your local Ambulance or Police have a Juvenile "Weekend Ride along" program. These are programs where kids get exposed to the aftermath of Reckless driving by arriving at the scene with the State Police or the EMT's. I did it with my boys & it was the most sobering thing they ever experienced. It's one thing to hear about it, it's another to experience it.

Good Luck

I agree with LenKristin
Nov 15, 2002 6:38 AM
I'm not a parent, but I sure wish my parents had been more like this. If they had, I would have learned responsibility in high school instead of learning it now--as a 30 year old. All of which sucks and I lack respect for my parents now because of it.

Just remember: The teenage years suck for most families. Especially if you don't understand what's going on in your kids developmentally. Teens seem pissed at their parents most of the time, right? Its part of what they have to go through to become a functioning adult. Its important to their futures that you, the parent, do well in helping them navigate these years.

An excellent read on the subject: "Boundaries for Kids," by Townsend and Cloud. Dr. Henry Cloud is one of the best communicators on the topic of boundaries that I've ever read. Their first book on the subject, title just "Boundaries" is also good to read.
Tough question, reallyeyebob
Nov 13, 2002 1:57 PM
I don't have any kids but I can sympathise with your problem. Having said that, my Dad would have kicked my ass and probably instituted some punishment like forfeiture of my liscense and making me pay for the hike in insurance rates. My guess is that every generation of parent goes through the same problems with their presumed hypocrisy, but then kicks their kids' butt (lovingly of course) in the end. Personally, I'd make him pay financially (make him pay the ticket, and make sure that the judge in the case assigns some sort of community service. Scaring kids might help, huh?

Best of luck.

Nov 13, 2002 2:58 PM
Give me a break. What happened when you did it? Did your dad laugh? You're his parent first, and you can't just shrug your shoulders and say "kids, what are you gonna do?" You can laugh about your hypocrisy years from now when he faces the same problem with his own son.

If you feel guilty about punishing him for getting the ticket, pretend you are punishing him for breaking curfew. I'd take his keys for a month. Don't worry about carting him around. He's not going anywhere for a month because he broke curfew. School? Make him walk or ride.
What would you do?carnageasada
Nov 13, 2002 4:03 PM
You've obviously already dealt with it. But if it's any consolation as a youth I was a bad driver. No. A horrible driver. A hundred miles an hour, this was Western Colorado, was cruising speed on the way to school. In fact there was a bump that would often send the old family station wagon landcruiser into the air. It just wasn't a good morning if I didn't get the 'float' on the way to school.
After blowing the engine and then getting into two minor wrecks I couldn't afford insurance or a car through college. When I started driving again, I obeyed the law and drove like a grandpa. In fact I'm one of those stupid jerks you get stuck behind going the speed limit. Makes my wife crazy. I like driving the speed limit. It's relaxing. What's the hurry?
One other note. Last summer I went back for my sister's wedding. First time back home in many years. I actually went down our old street, knocked on a door, and apologized to the woman who lived on the corner for driving so fast through our neighborhood (she had young children and often complained to my mom about how fast I drove). I don't know what it is about 16. You just don't get it.
Best of luck. I'd like to know how you deal with it and how you think it went. I'm already preparing myself for when my second oldest starts driving.
Are you talking to him?moneyman
Nov 13, 2002 4:09 PM
Find out what he was thinking when made the decision to do that. Is it out of character for him to do things like that? Are his "hooligan friends" a consistent problem? Does he know how you feel about his friends? Is he mature enough to see how his actions have hurt you and endangered everyone else on the road with him? All the punishment things are appropriate, but unless he really owns the consequences of his actions, it is likely he will do stuff like this again.

$$ (father to 19 and 15 year old girls, owner of much gray hair)
Thanks for your concern, and ideas....rwbadley
Nov 13, 2002 4:34 PM
The first thing I will do is have him read this posting and your responses.

I will let the juvenile court judge hand out punishment and the fine will be paid by the kid. The insurance rate increase will be handled by him as well.

I think getting him out to a couple of accident scenes is a great idea. A little blood and gore may bring home the reality of the situation.

I would take his car keyes until he's 30, if I could. Ride a bike! Walk! We depend too much on autos. Criminy, he drives two blocks to play basketball...

I vaguely remember being that age, and I know him to be a good kid, he's just being sixteen. He's actually pretty mature for his age, but still...

Thanks all, I'll let you know how it goes.

Nothing at all,TJeanloz
Nov 14, 2002 6:14 AM
Exact same situation for me, when I was 16 (which was not too long ago). My parents didn't do anything. There wasn't a question of them 'making' me pay the ticket- my name was on the ticket, it was mine to pay. And $350 was a lot of money for me to shell out.

If I was you, I'd let the justice system run its course. If you expect your child to behave like an adult, why not treat him like one? Kids these days know the risks of being killed in car accidents, they don't need more "Red Asphalt" movies or ride-alongs to prove it. For me, all it took was not wanting to lose another $350...
Respectfully disagree.Len J
Nov 14, 2002 7:37 AM
You said: "Kids these days know the risks of being killed in car accidents, they don't need more "Red Asphalt" movies or ride-alongs to prove it."

Kids today are just like we were when we were 16, they (& we) think (thought) we were invulnurable, that bad things only happen to other people and possess the uncanny ability to go brain dead at the most inopportune times. It is one thing to know intellectually the "risks of being killed in car accidents", it is another to really understand it.

Also, if you were correct in your assessment, there would be a hell of a lot fewer teenage deaths due to drinking and driving.

Otherwise, I agree.

how about the increased insurance? (nm)ColnagoFE
Nov 14, 2002 9:45 AM
I think he pays...TJeanloz
Nov 14, 2002 10:15 AM
I had to pay for my insurance myself, so naturally, the increased premium went straight to me. But I don't see why the kid shouldn't have to pay the increase.
Also disagree, not very respectfullycory
Nov 14, 2002 6:09 PM
I'm looking at this from the opposite side of TJeanloz (father of a 22- and 17-year-old), but:
16-year-olds simply don't have the capacity to envision the consequences of something like this. I don't mean they're too cocky or whatever to see it--their brains are wired differently than adults, and they CAN'T see it. It's physiological, not psychological. Several points, with no transitions because this is going to be too long anyway:
--If he gets away with it this time, why not do the same thing next week?
--He's shown he doesn't deserve the trust you've placed in him by letting get a license and car.
--I'm an old racer, and I've driven thousands of miles at high speeds. It's a learned skill. He probably has reflexes all over me, but he DOES NOT have the skill, judgment or experience to control a car at that speed.
--If he hits/kills somebody, guess who pays. Guess who could lose his house.
--You set rules (curfew and presumably safe driving) and he violated them. If you aren't going to enforce them, it's counterproductive to set them, because he'll know he doesn't have to do what you say. In point of fact, when he took the car without your knowledge, he stole it.
If it were me, I'd take his car away for awhile, maybe a month. I wouldn't let him drive during that period unless it was absolutely necessary for my convenience (you managed before he got his license, you can manage now). When he did start driving again, I'd keep the keys and make him come to me for them. And if he got ANOTHER big ticket like that (not 70 in a 65, but certainly drunk driving or 100+), I'd yank his license for good. He'll be 18 in two years, and he can take responsibility for himself.
This is not baby stuff. It's easy to kill somebody, and he can't just say "I'm sorry" or "I didn't mean to do it."
disagree, not very respectfullyTJeanloz
Nov 15, 2002 5:54 AM
A sixteen year old is plenty capable of exercising good judgement and understanding consequences- I'm not saying all do, but it is a possibility that should be entertained. To say that 16 year olds don't have the "capacity" to envision consequences is ridiculous. Maybe you didn't teach your children enough about consequences, and they don't know what they are, but at 16, I had a very good idea of what the consequences were. If you don't trust your children, maybe you should buy a bigger insurance policy or not let them drive at all. It's fair enough to say that if the kid is under 18, he's your responsibility, but how will he learn responsibility if all of the difficult things in life are forced upon him, rather than decided by him?
Nazi -- where's your compassion? :-) nmtrekkie1
Nov 15, 2002 6:49 AM
I walk a narrow line here...rwbadley
Nov 15, 2002 8:54 AM
I need him to help with the family business. I will accompany him to the court date, and at that point we will see how it shakes out. I have thoughts in mind about how to handle this, but they are 'on hold' until the conviction is in place.

I know, it sounds like I'm weaseling out, but really it is just a matter of not jumping the gun.

We have instituted a 'no rider' policy for him, this is, I agree tough to enforce.

When the fine and extra insurance costs come around, his bank account will be emptied.

He understands another infraction will cause loss of driving privilige.

I agree Cory, that 16 yo does not connect the dots in the same manner we do. I am still trying to find a good way to impress the kid about the fact that driving is life threatening to all involved. Reflexes are no match for skill and judgement.


re: My 16yo son just got a BIG speeding ticket....BikeViking
Nov 14, 2002 7:26 AM
I'd hit him right where it hurts...the things he likes. I would remove ALL fun and fun things from his life and add the privileges back SLOWLY as he earns your trust back.

Kids that age, especially boys, think they are bulletproof.
make him ride a bike or bus for a while (nm)ColnagoFE
Nov 14, 2002 9:43 AM
Speed kills....DINOSAUR
Nov 17, 2002 6:47 PM
Speed is the PCF (primary collision factor) in traffic accidents. Happy to say that I never received a ticket for speeding, but I wrote a couple of zillion of them when I was a CHP Officer.

First- (was this is Ca?) if so, the cop gave him a break for writing him for 99MPH, as 100+MPH is a BIG fine (about $700.00) with no reduction in bail. He will be lucky if the court does not suspend his drivers license. They can suspend it until he reaches the age of 18. You might bring this to his attention.

I have a teenage daughter and if she received a ticket for that speed, she would not be driving again, period.

But with kids, you have to reason with them. He must become aware of the consequences of what could happen at that speed.

It's hard to say what you should do, as he is your kid. My daughter has been driving for about 5 months now. She has her own car and she has to tell us where she is going and report to us via her cell phone when she arrives at her designation. So far the worst thing she has done is lock herself out of her car (that I know of).

I've thought about renting a car and following her to school someday and seeing how she drives. Driving is a big responsibility and the majority of people do not take it seriously. Car accidents are the number one cause of death for kids between the ages of 15-20, followed by homicide.

The best action might be to let him take what is coming to him. This is a mandatory appearance and the court will probably send him to some type of drivers school (if he keeps his license, they might suspend it for awhile). See what happens first, then you can contact your local police agency. They will have a public relations officer who can provide you with a good way to go. Perhaps watching some video tapes, but if your son is like my daughter (typical teenager) it's in one ear and out the other.

I suspect that he is probably a good kid, but they are so unaware at that age. They think that they are invincible and nothing will happen to them (typical for that age).

It is a big problem where I live in the foothills. A local high school down the road lost 3 teenagers in one year because of traffic accidents. The school has beat itself to death trying to educate the kids, but they just don't get it.

I think what hurts us is the glamorization of driving fast that we see in the movies and on t.v. Speeding appears to be cool, but it's not cool when you crash and burn.

I bet he drove that fast just to see what it felt like. Now he knows, maybe he got it out of his system. I would be worried though, with good reason. I dreaded the day our daughter started to drive and we are happy when she is home parked in her bedroom.

See what the court does....I could talk all day about this subject....I hope he understand what could happen at that speed...the coroner would be picking up body parts with rubber gloves.....

I've been retired coming on 4 years now and I still have a callous on my right index finger from writing traffic accident reports...hope he learns his lesson, there is nothing worse than to lose a teenager...seen it and been there, life is never the same again....

I can identify with your problem....anyone who has a teenage driver in the family can...good luck...

Oh, one more thing...there goes his insurance rate....

speed doesn't kill ppl, ppl kill ppl--sorry, wrong topic nmtrekkie1
Nov 18, 2002 3:27 PM
First, be grateful.Steve98501
Nov 18, 2002 2:38 PM

My condolences, but it's nonetheless gratifying to a parent to know that his son has survived foolish behavior.

We each have our own expectations and rules for parenting. Personally, I never cared for curfews and "grounding." I raised two daughters through the teen years. I wanted both my kids to get their driver's licenses at 16 to provide some relief to the mom & pop taxi burden. I subscribe to the "behavior has consequences, and there are natural and logical consequences" philosophy.

You ask what I would do. First, I wouldn't let the son's role in a family business influence my decisions, as that would be inconsistent with the consequences philosophy.

Leave his hooligan friend out of it. Your son is responsible for his behavior. If he's easily influenced by a friend of questionable values, then he's got a problem that is perhaps more serious than the speeding ticket.

Let the legal system run its course. Your son should be responsible for any traffic fines, insurance rate increases, and any other natural consequences of his action. The court may impose some penalties, like license suspension or others. Don't fight it, if you're on his side for the long term you'll remind him that behavior has consequences. He'll respect you for that eventually, like when he's in his 20s.

Most importantly in my mind, your son has breached your trust. Let him know what that means to you, and that trust is easily lost, but very difficult to earn, once lost. Let him know that if he wants any trust from you in the future, it must be earned by his actions day by day, every day. I wouldn't loan my car to someone I didn't trust; therefore, I wouldn't loan it to my kid who had breached it.

Since I'm only describing what I would do, I wouldn't ground him or impose any penalty I couldn't enforce.

You indicate that your son has a role in your family business. If you want to be the most responsible parent possible to your son, don't let that influence any decision you make. If your son needs to drive to work in your business, lay him off and hire one of his friends who has an unembellished driving record. If you don't trust your son's driving behavior, how could you risk having him drive for your business? That would drive the message that behavior has consequences home like no other action you could take.

I sympathize with your situation. As I mentioned, I raised daughters, who didn't seem to have the lust for speed that is so common among boys. They both found other ways to test limits, and both learned that, after love, trust was perhaps the most valuable attribute between us. The youngest learned the hard way that earning back a broken trust was way too much hassle to jeopardize a second time.

Good luck.
Thanks for the words Steve....nmrwbadley
Nov 19, 2002 7:43 PM