It is a well-known fact that adolescence is the time when young people gain more freedom considering themselves to be independent enough to spend time wherever and with whoever they want. Nighttime is the most popular time of the day for teenagers’ parties and meetings. However, the night is also a period of increased danger for children and teenagers. Therefore, the city council has suggested the imposing of a curfew, according to which, teenagers are prohibited to be out on the streets after 10 p.m. on weekdays and after midnight on weekdays. However, such a decision is rather controversial and may trigger a wave of public discontent among both teenagers and their parents.
On the one hand, the following decision of the city council is motivated by the desire to protect teenagers from potential dangers. First, in the nighttime, the risk that a teenager can be run over by a car is much higher than during the daytime. It is not due to the inattentiveness of drivers but because of bad visibility and the unwillingness of young people to stick to the traffic rules for pedestrians. When being in the street at night, one should wear clothes with reflectors, but this rule is usually violated. In such a way, the implementation of the curfew can help to reduce the number of road traffic accidents with the involvement of teenagers. Moreover, since after 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekdays, the number of people in the streets of the city reduces, and it becomes more difficult to keep teenagers safe and protect them from becoming victims of different crimes. Physically and psychologically, teenagers are not mature enough to strike back and defend themselves in case they are attacked, and it makes them easy prey for muggers, rapists, and murderers. Therefore, the most popular argument for the curfew is that, to prevent any tragedies, teenagers should not stay in the streets alone at night and should be accompanied by adults, but, since it is impossible, it is safer for them to stay at home.
Though the argument mentioned above seems to be rather convincing, the curfew also has many disadvantages. First of all, it violates the human rights of teenagers. All people, regardless of their age, have the right for freedom of movement. In case this freedom is restricted only for teenagers, it can be viewed as ageism and discrimination. Moreover, not only teenagers but also children are not responsible for their actions that means that the curfew should be implemented for everyone under the age of eighteen. As for the idea that teenagers are more likely to become the victims of criminals, it is also erratic. In comparison to the number of adults attacked by criminals in the streets, the number of teenagers is definitely lower. In fact, one can become a victim of violence at any time, and neither their age nor their sex is the factor that can prevent it.
Therefore, instead of implementing the curfew, the city council should better pay attention to the general level of safety in the city so that all its residents could feel safe both in the daytime and in the nighttime. Moreover, since all underage children are under the responsibility of their parents, the latter must explain their kids the traffic rules, rules of behavior in the streets, and teach them to protect themselves in case of danger. Adolescence is the time when young people learn how to act in different situations and to take responsibility for their well-being, and various curfews and other restrictions will only prevent them from doing it.