New law puts restrictions on new teen drivers
A California law designed to curb an increase in teen-age driving fatalities will go into effect July 1.
The law, introduced by State Sen. Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City, was named after two teen-agers killed in separate accidents involving teen drivers, Brady Grasinger and Jared Cunningham.
“I firmly believe this new law will save the lives of thousands of young people,” Leslie said. “Similar programs in other states have shown this to be true.”
The senator said the law is not designed to punish teen drivers, but rather to better prepare them for the dangers that exist when driving.
“This type of preparation is something a driving test, no matter how comprehensive, can accomplish,” Leslie said.
Senate Bill 1329, the Brady-Jared Teen Driver Safety Act, will require the following of teen-age drivers:
— Before a 16-year-old is granted a provisional license, he or she must have held an instruction permit for a minimum of six months.
— Before a 16-year-old is granted a provisional license, his or her parents and guardians must certify their child spent a minimum of 50 hours of supervised practice behind the wheel (prior law had called for only 30 hours). Ten hours must be at night.
— For the first six months after obtaining the provisional license, the novice driver cannot transport other teen-age-or-younger passengers in his or her car unless accompanied by a licensed driver at least 25 years of age.
— For the first 12 months after obtaining the provisional license, the novice driver cannot drive between midnight and 5 a.m., unless accompanied by a licensed driver at least 25 years of age. Exemptions are made for those who are driving from or to work, participating in school activities, or driving due to a medical necessity and a family exemption.
— Teens would have to be stopped for another offense, such as reckless driving or speeding, to be cited for Brady-Jared violations, thus making them secondary violations, such as seat belt tickets in states where authorities cannot stop motorists for only not wearing a seat belt.
— Any teen driver who has obtained his or her instruction permit prior to July 1 will not be subject to the conditions of the new law.
— Teens convicted of Brady-Jared Act violations are subject to community service or a fine of $35 for the first violation. The maximum fine for repeat offenses is $50.
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