It’s not every day you hear someone complementing the way things are done at the Department of Motor Vehicles. It’s also fairly rare these days to hear a progressive Huffington Post blogger saying nice things about the Commonwealth of Virginia, land of the Confederate History Month and the anti-anti-discrimination directive.
But blogger Tamar Abrams was so delighted with her teen daughter’s experience with Virginia’s unique “juvenile licensing ceremony” that she felt compelled to tell the world.
There is one shining beacon of brilliance that I witnessed yesterday in the Arlington County Courthouse and which makes me want, for a moment, to brag about the state in which I’ve resided for 18 years.
Instead of just being handed a shiny new driver’s license at the DMV counter, new drivers under the age of 18 are summoned to appear in family court with a parent. There they watch a driving safety video (narrated by Arlington-born newswoman Katie Couric), hear a talk about teen driving laws, and are finally handed their license by a stern-looking judge.
Abrams wrote that the ceremony left a lasting impression.
It feels good to be proud of my home state, even for a moment. I can’t find any statistics proving that the juvenile licensing ceremony has reduced teen accidents in Virginia, but I know for one teen and her mom it reminded us of the gravity of earning a right to drive.