Teen Drivers

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The National Transportation Safety Board has issued new recommendations for graduated driver's licenses. The graduated driver's licensing system puts restrictions on teen driving, including limiting late-night driving, restricting the number of passengers in a vehicle, and zero-tolerance for alcohol.

One new recommendation calls for states to restrict teen drivers with a provisional license from carrying more than one passenger under the age of 20, until they receive an unrestricted license. It would exclude teen drivers accompanied by a driver who's at least 21.

Alabama's graduated driver's license law for 16-year-olds went into effect Oct. 1 by restricting new drivers from hitting the roads after midnight and having their cars packed full of friends.

The NTSB notes that in 2000, fewer than seven percent of drivers were 20 or younger, yet they were involved in 14 percent of fatal crashes.

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Restrictions for Teen Drivers in Alabama

The House and Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure that will establish new restrictions on drivers 17 and younger. The law takes effect Oct. 1, 2002.

Restrictions include:

  • Sixteen-year-olds cannot drive between midnight and 6 a.m., unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian, are driving to or from a job, school or church event or are driving in an emergency.

  • Sixteen-year-olds cannot drive with more than four people in a vehicle, not counting parents or guardians.

  • A seventeen-year-old can get an unrestricted driver's license if he or she had been driving for at least six months with no traffic violations.
    • Those with violations would have to post six months of clean driving before receiving the unrestricted license.
    • Married teens and anyone 18 or older automatically could get unrestricted licenses.

  • A 16-year-old applying for a restricted license must submit signed permission from a parent or guardian allowing the teen-ager to drive without supervision. The 16-year-old also will have to submit a signed statement from a parent that the teen had completed at least 30 hours behind the wheel under a learner's permit or submit proof of completing an approved driver's education class.

Source: http://www.theiacp.org/leg_policy/legupdate/alabama.pdf (The International Association of Chiefs of Police)