Would You Help Your Kids Cheat to Get a Driver’s License?

A reader named Ari writes from Israel:

Recently the Israel Government voted to change the minimum age for getting a driver’s license. Here is a snippet from an article in Ha’aretz (headlined “Israel to Lower Driving Age, but Tack on Period of Mandatory Supervision”):
The earliest age to start driving lessons will remain 16 and a half. The period of driving accompanied by an adult will have to cover at least 50 hours, 20 of them on urban streets, 15 hours on inter-urban roads and 15 hours of driving at night. The novice driver will have to have an adult chaperone at all hours of the day during the first three months but only at night during the second three months. After the novice driver and the accompanying person sign a declaration that the accompanied driving requirement has been fulfilled properly, the new driver will be given a young driver’s license.
I’m curious as to how the honor system is going to work here. If my child’s license were to depend on my declaration, what are the chances that I would fudge? How would the governing agency know? It seems to be unverifiable. I assume that there will be some internet-based form with a checkbox and maybe some number to fill in (number of hours driven night / day / rain / …) I believe that forcing a person to write his own declaration would make it more difficult for him to lie.

I wrote back to Ari:

Of course it may be that no one has a stronger incentive to make sure a kid gets all his training than the parent of said kid!

 To which he replied:

As a father of eight kids, I’m more interested in the kid getting his license, and this is not because I have kids to spare, but because lessons costs a huge amount of money here. Between you me and the big blue sea, I think I’d fudge.

What would you do (assuming, perhaps, that you have fewer kids than Ari)? Also: if you are a parent of a novice driver, would you be more or less nervous if the vehicle your kid is learning to drive can also operate autonomously?

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  1. AaronS says:

    I would not lie. Not only because I am a Christian, and not only because it would be a very poor example to set for my son (whom I teach that it is better to fail a test than to cheat on one), but for another reason, as well: I would be afraid that if my child was killed or seriously injured in a car accident soon after obtaining his license, I would go to my grave not only mourning his misfortune, but blaming myself for it.

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  2. Joe D says:

    With only one child, my time cost is not as large as that of a parent with several. Knowing that many parents would cheat on this, I’m going to spend as many hours as necessary to ensure that my daughter can survive alongisde the maniac kids the rest of you see fit to unleash on our public roads. :)

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  3. Donald says:

    Australian here, where the hours system seems pretty widespread.

    The answer is… everyone fudges. Whether it’s rounding up hours, claiming hours driven by the supervisor to the learner or just making up hours, it’s rare to have a completely honest logbook. Here in NSW you have to do 120 hours, all supervised – and no checks. So really no surprise.

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  4. Richard says:

    Here in Victoria (Australia) it is also 120hrs, and I’ve got my daughter coming up which I’m not looking forward to. Lots of stories around about Vic Roads refusing log books with errors and crossings out. So the lesson is be careful about fudging and you’ll be right.

    Here the theory test is able to be taken in: English, Albanian, Macedonian, Somali, Arabic, Persian, Spanish, Cambodian, Russian, Turkish, Chinese (Mandarin), Serbian & Vietnamese.

    My wife is a French speaker and had to take it in English.


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  5. Steve says:

    In Kentucky we have to fill out a sheet recording 100 hours of driving over 6 months for our kids, I know parents that fudged, we did not.

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  6. sean says:

    Not only did my wife’s parents help her get a drivers licence, but they paid for a fake id so that she could drive herself to school at the age of 15, thus saving themselves many hours in the Jakarta traffic!

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  7. Jean says:

    I did not let my children take the drivers test until they had practiced a lot with me and they were comfortable in all aspects of driving. We did practice a lot, but was it the required 50 hours? I honestly have no idea because we were not organized enough to keep track of everything.

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  8. Adam says:

    My high school offered a Driver’s Ed class which I took. The class taught driving out of a textbook, and throughout the whole class I never even saw a real car. My dad taught me how to drive, and when the deadline for applying for the next license level was approaching, we took several “road trips” and added hours to my log. I was nervous the MVD people would grill us on my hours, but they barely glanced at it. If the system isn’t substantially different from how it is now when I have kids, I probably will go about it much the same way.

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