Letters, Pamela Haslam, May 12, 2015

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My mother married at 19 and gave birth at 20.

She was unable to vote in the early 1960s until 21. As marriage - with parental consent - could be at 16 years of age, I do feel that a five-year gap was too great.

Eighteen is now our ‘coming of age’ and seems about right. Many will have worked or been in further education for two years. Rather than seeing this as wrong, perhaps it should be seen as valuable experience time to help decide which political party to choose.

Amber in her Forever Amber column of May 5 should perhaps also consider that other allowable activities before 18 are concessionary.

Full air fares start at 12 years old - although a child occupies a seat from the age of 2. Should we abolish concessionary fares completely? Do we use her theory and allow 12 year olds to vote?

Childbirth at 16 (or younger) is rather thrown upon us. In a caring society we help a 16 year old mother and her child, but can anyone really believe it is a situation to be encouraged?

Driving at 17 is far too young. Most teens and those in their early twenties will never be more able in their lives to use public transport, and would then be able to push for better networks, and relieve our overcrowded roads. The areas of the brain concerned with thrill seeking versus judgement are not fully formed until the mid 20s.

It is all too easy to think of ‘rights’ and give in to this kind of argument.

However, responsible parents - and governments - have a duty to bring children gradually and competently to adulthood. Amber mentions that she is considered an adult when it suits - you don’t grow up overnight.

Pamela Haslam,