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Challenges to graduated licensing law affects teen drivers

October 8, 2010
By Dave Werner, Franklin County Traffic Safety Board,

Effective Aug. 14 and Sept. 1, changes to the Graduated Licensing Law that directly affect teen drivers include the following restrictions:

All drivers under age 18 are allowed only ONE non-family passenger under the age of 21, no matter when their junior operator or motorcycle permit was issued. An exception is for teen drivers who have passed an approved driver education course AND have amended their license at the Motor Vehicle Dept. to an operator's license. Just carrying the "blue" card is not acceptable.

All drivers under the age of 18 MUST submit proof of having completed 50 hours of supervised driving, 15 of which are to be performed after sunset.

All of this means that high school students under age 18 cannot carry more than one other teen, other than immediate family, in their vehicle unless they have completed driver education and have subsequently amended their license.

Let's use an example. John Doe is a 17-year old high school senior with a junior license (passed his driver's exam at age 16) and drives to school every day. He cannot give a ride to more than one other student not of his immediate family. However, if he has three brothers and sisters, he is allowed to carry all three plus the one other non-family teen. If John Doe took and passed driver education this summer and amended his license accordingly, he would be allowed to carry more than one non-family member. He would also be allowed to drive after 9 p.m.

Local enforcement agencies just may be on the lookout for violations of the provisions of the graduated driver licensing laws. Be aware of what is allowed and what is not, and obey the laws accordingly.

This article addresses the recent changes to graduated licensing laws but does not include all the provisions of this law. For more information on the graduated driver licensing laws, go to the Traffic Safety Board's website at and the "Did You Know?" article titled "Graduated Licensing Laws for New Drivers," released to the media on Feb. 18, 2010.



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