There is certainly a reason why he doesn't have one. But we don't know the reason and, importantly, we have no information to suggest he ever had one or that he's currently on probation. Guess all you want, but IMO making guesses based on nothing is a waste of time.
However, your experience and that of the 100 or so teens you say you know about over the decades amounts to a very, very small percentage of the many millions of teens that have been around in that period. It is also not a representative sample from across the U.S. How fast kids go out to get a license varies from one locality to another. When I was a kid living in a rural area most kids did get their licenses at 16 out of necessity. There was no other way to really get around. You either drove yourself or someone else drove you. But in large cities with good public transportation systems and other alternatives today there is less real need to have a car and have a driver's license. Thus because circumstances vary from one part of the country to another taking what happens just in the few areas you know about would give you skewed data that does not represent the country as a whole. That is why a good statistical study, like the ones referred to by the WSJ, PBS, and others are IMO much more reliable than your or my limited personal experiences on the matter. But I'm not surprised that when a news outlet publishes something you don't agree with your solution is to trash the media rather than consider that maybe there is something going on that you weren't aware of.