Changes could be coming for teen drivers

New teen driving law

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BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — Changes could be on the way for Ohio teen drivers.

A bill proposed in the House of Representatives would shake things up for teen drivers and parents. Curfew for drivers under the age of 18 would begin at 10 p.m. and last until 5 a.m. unless the driver is working or has a school function. That changes from midnight for 16-year-old drivers and 1 a.m. for 17-year-olds.

“We have kids here that are very mature and then we have kids that leave here and they do not think anything can happen to them and they take risks. We try and teach low-risk driving and teach them to make good decisions when they drive,” said Greg Anderson of All-Star Driving School. “Could be good, could be bad. I just think we are penalizing the good people to accommodate for the small group of bad people.”

Kavon McClain said he likes the new curfew rules.

“I think it is good that they are changing the hours because the later it is, the darker it is,” he said.

But Taylor Parry disagrees with the curfew change.

“The curfew, I do not like that. It is less opportunity if you have to be home at 10. And it is still dark out, no matter if it is 10:00 or 12:00. It’s still dark out,”she said.

The passenger changes would have both 16- and 17-year-old drivers limited to one non-family member passenger in the car and that passenger would have to be at least 21 with a valid driver’s license. Currently, 17-year-old drivers have no limit to the amount of passengers in the car.

That is a change that Parry likes.

“There are too many distractions. As is, you are an inexperienced driver, and you have music and other cars and it is just too much, so I think that is really good,” she said.

Anderson believes that instead of troubling teens with new rules—strongly enforcing the current ones would do the trick.

“I do not thinkyou can legislate safety. You have issues of enforcement and issues when they go to court. Are they going to carry through with the punishment? You get a couple of kids and make examples of them, that word is going to spread pretty fast,” Anderson said.

Under the current rules, and under the proposed bill, any teen that commits just one moving violation would be forced to drive with a parent or guardian for six months.

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