Chuck Kuepfer, Spin Cycle
For people with zero fashion sense, here’s a tip: stripes can make you appear different to others.
No, they won’t make you look more distinguished (collared shirts and ties do that) or cooler (white tank tops and skinny jeans do that). But they can make you look fattier or thinner, which ever look you are going for.
Striped shirts can be a useful tool in the closet of the fashion conscious, but stripes on drivers’ licences are even better. They might even help some retailers sleep better.
According to the Ontario Convenience Stores Association, Ontario and Quebec are the only jurisdictions in North America where drivers’ licences don’t have markings of some kind to identify minors. The association is urging the province to add a red stripe to flag said age group.
Not only would the stripe help convenience store owners in their attempts to identify and therefore not sell tobacco products to kids, but they could also be useful at the local LCBO and Beer Store. It’s illegal to sell both “forbidden fruits of youth” to anyone under the age of 19 in Ontario.
“Each OCSA member takes their duty to act as a responsible community retailer very seriously,” says Dave Bryans, CEO of the OCSA. “Our stores sell more age restricted products than any other retailer in this province, and collectively perform over 36 million ID checks of minors each year.”
Bryans supports the “Not To Kids” coalition, a collective that includes 27 public health agencies across the province, who have proposed visual age indicator on drivers’ licences.
Sure, there are ways around such firewalls if young teenagers or pre-teens want to smoke. However, giving retailers another tool in their arsenal to prevent the sale of prohibited products to minors also gives parents extra peace of mind.
Even if we can never fully eliminate the loopholes that exist on the path from childhood to adulthood, when rebellious curiosity is often explored and exploited.