A troubling report from our favorite NY Times editor, and no it doesn't involve poorly substantiated insinuations that Bill Ford had a sexual relationship with John McCain. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the rate of licensed 16-year-olds dropped from 43.8% in 1998 to just 29.8% in 2006. You'll remember from our guide to teenage driving rules that some kids can get permits as early as 14. And where are these kids making out? It has something to do with the Internet. Other factors include the cost of private driver's instruction, now that school supported driving instruction dropped to just 20% from 90% in the 1980's.

We're sort of troubled in a parents-from-Bye Bye Birdie sort of way. We remember a friend who worked at an auto parts store and spent a good chunk of time fixing up her Ford Ranger. She loved that truck in a way we could all respect and was always amongst the first to offer up a ride. Her two sisters, on the other hand, are in college and still haven't learned to drive. We'll point out they also live in Boerne Stage, which is as inaccessible by public transit as you can imagine. On the other hand, less accident causing kids on the road the better.