The BMV: an abyss of agony for teens

The BMV: an abyss of agony for teens

John Law, Editor

Possibly the most exciting time of a teenager’s life is when they finally get their license and have the freedom to go anywhere they want to. It is one of the pinnacles of your youth and most dream of the day they get their license from at least the moment they get into middle school. However, for most, there is a dragon that has to be slain in order to gain this privilege: the BMV. 

Making it through driving school with the seemingly endless classes that “teach” teens how to be good drivers and the test one has to take to earn their permit is bad enough. Add the extremely strict rubric that is used for the actual driver’s test along with the grouchiness of all the graders and you’ve got something that is actually quite hard to pass, even for good young drivers. 

Of course, as a society, we don’t want the driving test to be so easy that it ends up endangering our citizens, but it should be nowhere close to as strict as it is currently. As of now, there are 19 offenses that lead to an automatic failure with the obvious ones being causing an accident or disobeying a traffic signal, but some of them are a bit petty. I say this because the test is unbelievably unrealistic for how people actually drive. 

Some of them, such as driving too close to pedestrians or bicycles, are simply judgement calls by the examiner where the students’ test could be ruined by just a bad mood. Not to mention, if a driver were to avoid driving too close to a bicycle, they may have to swerve over a little bit to where they might straddle a marked line which is contradictorily deemed an automatic fail as well. If we’re being realistic, even automatic failures such as a rolling stop or speeding are unnecessary as practically every single driver in the country speeds and doesn’t come to a complete stop at a four-way stop sign that is completely clear.

Several Bloomington teens opt to take it at All-Star Driving School instead of the BMV, including sophomore Aidan King. 

“It was easier to take it at All-Star because, even though I did have to pay, I got to take it with an instructor who I had previously driven with and had given me recommendations on what to do and how to drive. It was also faster because I didn’t have to be put on the waiting list and wait in the BMV for hours upon hours,” said King. 

On the other side of the spectrum, senior Jacob Young failed his test at the BMV because of an apparent rolling stop and believes the test is too strict.

“Taking the test at the BMV is a bad idea, not only because it is more strict, but also because the way they expect you to drive isn’t anywhere near what it is like driving in an everyday setting,” said Young.

Not to mention, the BMV is in a part of town that is more unfamiliar to high schoolers which denies a students ability to get comfortable and actually know the patterns of the road and the traffic on the route that is taken. All-Star, the only other option, is in a much more familiar part of town for teens and students don’t have to take it with a complete stranger which are both tremendous advantages. 

When it comes down to it, there isn’t really a logical reason for the current strictness of the BMV driving test, and it’s no wonder everyone has a complete distaste for it and choose to take the test elsewhere nine times out of ten. Simply put, the BMV will forever and always be a place that radiates sadness and despair.