New Law Tweaks Rules For Teen Drivers
Officials at the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) last week announced a new set of rules for teenage drivers designed to ensure safety on the road by limiting the number of teens traveling together.
DMV Commissioner David J. Swarts said the new law requires all drivers under age 18 to have no more than one non-family member under age 21 as a fellow passenger.
The law also requires teenagers to undergo an increased amount of supervised training before they can apply for a driver’s license.
Swarts said the new law enhances highway safety and enforceability, two issues that have impeded law enforcement officers in their efforts to monitor motorists who obtained a driver’s license or permit prior to February 22.
Previous legislation applied only to drivers who obtained a license or permit on or after that date.
The new law also requires new drivers to undergo at least 50 hours of supervised driving, 15 hours of which must take place after sunset.
“Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death of teens and the crash fatality rate is highest for 16 to 17-year-olds within the first six months of getting their licenses,” Swarts said. “This amendment closes a loophole in the current law and addresses a main cause of teen driver crashes, which is inexperience.”