Please, Look at How the French Teach Their Teenagers

In America, we scare adolescents with S.T.D. horror stories; in France, they stick to scooters.

Jean-Francois Monier/AFP/Getty Images

The tradition of scaring teenagers is a long and proud one. Without adequate terror, how else would kids learn life’s horrors and subsequently forgo reckless behaviors? Driver’s Ed is a litany of gruesome crash footage supplied by the California Highway Patrol, with intent to keep hedonistic teens from guzzling beer and seeing if pop’s Dodge Intrepid can do 100. Sex Ed is 1,000 pictures of highly disfigured genitals and one colored condom on a banana. Academic motivation is provided via colorful tales of Uncle Stan, who didn’t take AP Calc and thus became a one-armed carny with onion B.O.

In France, they take this route: smashing a small minivan into a dummy on a scooter at 45 mph—which in France equates to 70 km/h.

Scooters have the structural integrity of a grocery bag filled with your tenderest dreams, so we understand the need to instill fear into the hearts of the slouchy-pantsed youngsters. The blasé hordes of Serges and Yvettes must learn that life is not all profiteroles and thin cigarettes. Let this acrobatic, maimed dummy be their first hint.