Views #436 | Low-Intermediate 4

Teen Driving

At what age should teenagers be able to drive?

Mark: Hey, Mike, what age do you have to be in Canada to drive?

Mike: Well, it used to be 16, but it recently got pushed up to 18, now again each province controls its driving and the age limits, but in my province in Ontario the age limit went from 16 to 18.

Mark: And how did you feel about that? Do you think that's a good thing that you have to be 18 instead of 16?

Mike: Yeah, I tend, I think, I think it should be 18 or even 20 before you're allowed to drive.

Mark: Really! What do you think about someone who is 17, and so they've been driving for one year and then the law changes and becomes 18 as the minimum age, do you think that person who has been driving should lose their license for one more year?

Mike: Well, no, and I think generally, well, that happened in Ontario, of course that situation would have arisen. What happens then is generally laws are made so that the people who have been driving are then put into a system where they can still drive but they're under a probation system until 18, which is still the case, but

Mark: I see. So why do you think you should wait until you are 18 or 20 to be able to drive?

Mike: Maturity.

Mark: You don't think at 16 you're mature enough?

Mike: No. No. Because I think at 18 you're more adult, you're more responsible, just like you're not tried in the legal system as an adult until you are 18 years old. I think that it should be the same for driving because I don't think you're fully mature.

Mark: Yeah, I don't know if I agree because I feel like, I drove when I was 16.

Mike: So did I.

Mark: Yeah, and I felt mature enough. In fact, I know my father, when he was young, he actually began driving at about 12. When he was about 12 years old, he lived in the countryside and it was OK for him to drive at 12.

Mike: Well, and I can understand that because way back when there was a lot less traffic and there was a lot less, there was a lot less people on the road. I think that today, because of that, because traffic was a lot a worse, its a better idea to have, you know, to make sure the drivers is prepared and mature and understands that, what to do in case something goes wrong.

Mark: OK, fair enough, but how do you know that, that someone at 18, who has never driven is any more prepared than someone who's 16?

Mike: Well, you don't, but generally if somebody's older and more mature then they're gonna be a little bit wiser. I mean, I think, you know. They're just gonna make better decisions. I think so. That's just my opinion, but.

Mark: OK. Sounds good.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

got pushed up

In Canada, the age you can drive used to be 16, but it recently got pushed up to 18.

In this case, 'got pushed up' means that the minimum age was increased. When something 'gets pushed up' it means that the limit for age, price, speed, etc is increased. Notice the following:

  1. The minimum grade point average gets pushed up every year.
  2. The speed limits on these highways got pushed up to 75 last year.


Each province in Canada controls its driving and the age limits.

Use like this 'province' refers to a territory or region similar to a state. The boundaries of this province are defined by the government. Notice the following:

  1. That particular province doesn't allow casinos.
  2. People don't speak French in my province.

age limits

In my province in Ontario, the age limit went from 16 to 18.

An 'age limit' is a maximum or minimum age when a person is allowed to something. Notice the following:

  1. Is there a certain age limit for driving a motorcycle?
  2. The age limit for the kids menu is 8 years old.

a probation system

For people who have been driving, they are put into a probation system until they reach 18.

A 'probation period' is like a trial period for something and it is used to decide whether or not you are capable of doing something. During this time if you make a mistake you will probably lose an opportunity that yo currently have. A 'probation system' is a method of giving people a probationary period to prove their skills before they have full access to a specific opportunity. Notice the following:

  1. The company operates on a three-month probation system when you first start.
  2. His grades were really bad last semester, so this semester he's on some type of a probation system.

mature enough

Don't you think that at 16 you're mature enough?

When you are 'mature' it means that you are fully developed. In this case it is referring to metal maturity and whether someone can think like an adult. If you are 'mature enough' to do something you are at a mental level where you can do something without making stupid mistakes or you are responsible. Notice the following:

  1. Eighteen is definitely a mature enough age to drink.
  2. His parents don't think he's mature enough to live on his own yet.

way back when

Way back when, there was a lot less traffic and a lot less people on the road.

'Way back when' is used to talk about a general time in the past. It is usually used by adults or older people to talk about how life was different when they were younger. Notice the following:

  1. I'm sure things were a lot different way back when.
  2. My grandfather can talk for hours about how difficult life was for him way back when.

Vocabulary Quiz

pushed • province • age
probation • mature • back
  1. The system in this school says that you have to stay out of trouble for at least 6 months.
  2. What is the limit to work in a restaurant?
  3. Way when, when I was a kid, no teenagers had their own cars.
  4. I heard that the ticket price is going to get up from $30 to $50.
  5. There is a huge government protected park in the northern part of the .
  6. Even though she is only ten her parents think she is enough to take care of her little brother.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Free Courses from ELLLO

One Minute English Videos

Free Courses from ELLLO