Most teenagers can't wait to get their drivers license. For those anxious young drivers taking to the streets of Grand Junction for the first time, we thought we would offer a bit of advice.

I remember how exciting it was as a youngster to get that little piece of paper that made me a legal driver. While driving around the tiny town of Brush, Colorado -- population under 5,000-- was pretty easy stuff. I also remember how nerve racking it was the first time I drove in Denver.

Of course, Grand Junction traffic can't compare to the craziness of Denver traffic, but it has its own level of madness, especially when you compare it to smaller driving venues like Fruita, Palisade, or even Delta.

I've seen the teenagers of some friends get their driving permits recently and the kids seemed pretty excited. I couldn't help but wonder what the best advice is I could give them.

There are plenty of things we could tell these young drivers like buckle up, don't drink and drive, and don't text and drive. Those are vitally important. But, if I could only say one thing, it would be this. Watch your speed.

Bad things happen at high speeds. The car is harder to control, decisions have to be made quicker, and the potential for disaster goes up the faster you go. Statistics show drivers age 16 to19 have the highest annual crash and traffic violation rate of any age group. Speed is a contributing factor in one-third of all teen traffic fatalities. So, it is partly a safety issue.

The other side of the coin is the financial aspect. Speeding results in speeding tickets. Speeding tickets result in higher insurance premiums. When you are out in the "real world" trying to make ends meet, every penny counts. Teen insurance premiums are high anyway. Moving violations just send them higher. Someone is going to pay more, if not the student, it's the parents.

It's not worth it. Keep your driving record clean, and your insurance rates low. If it's high-speed action you're looking for, go ride a go-cart or launch a career in auto racing, but keep speed off the street.

That's my best advice - what's yours?

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