In Finland, 17-year-olds will soon be able to get behind the wheel – if their parents allow it.
In Finland, the driving age is 18 years, but 17-year-olds can apply for a special exemption to obtain a driving license a year earlier.
The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (Traficom) said the large number of exemption applications it received had congested their services.
The Agency estimates that it currently takes months to process an application for an authorization, with around 4,500 applications awaiting approval.
However, the police government and the Road Safety Council have opposed the reform for fear of undermining road safety. The police board has stated that driving licenses should only be issued to those under the age of 18 in very specific and infrequent circumstances.
An amendment to the law that came into force in 2018 loosened the requirements for obtaining an exemption permit, allowing 17-year-olds to apply for a permit to travel independently for hobbies or jobs. As a result, in 2019, more than 14,000 exemption applications were filed, according to Traficom.
Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka (SDP) said that although the 2018 change eased restrictions too much, he said he believed those under the age of 18 should still get permits.
"It would be unfair to take the opportunity away, as we have seen how important the opportunity for independent work is for them," The magpie said.
Source: The Nordic Page