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National teen driving law introduced in the U.S. House

Over the last couple of weeks we have been talking a lot about teenage drivers and the dangers of teen driving. Recently, a U.S. Senator from New York introduced a bill that would regulate teenage driving across the nation. The Senator introduced the proposed law because she wants to reduce the number of fatal teen car accidents in the country. The proposed law would put restrictions on teenage driver’s licenses until age 18.

Teenage drivers in Louisiana today driver with restricted licenses until they reach age 17. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s proposed law has started a conversation on teenage driving laws in Louisiana, and it is not surprising parents and teenage drivers sit on opposite sides of the debate. One 16-year-old high school student from Louisiana says the required 35 hours of supervised practice driving is enough to prepare him to drive without restrictions at age 17. His mother has a different opinion.

The 16-year-old’s mom says that she does not even like to be out on the road at a certain time of night because of drunk drivers, and she does not want her son out on the road at that time especially when he has not fully learned defensive driving techniques. The 16-year-old says he understands where his mom is coming from but still thinks he is ready to drive without restrictions at age 17.

The proposed federal law would divide the learning process into three tiers from learner’s permit to intermediate status to full nonrestricted driver’s license. Teenagers with learner’s permits and intermediate licenses would not be allowed to drive at night, and intermediate drivers would not be able to have more than one non-family passenger under the age of 21.

Source: Nola.com, “Teens should wait until age 18 to drive, New York senator says,” Bruce Alpert, 4/13/11

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