Graduated Driver’s License Laws Protect Teen Drivers

Dec 28, 2012

Many states have finally realized that simply passing a driver’s license exam is not enough to prove that teenage drivers are ready to venture onto public roads. It is odd that society hands over 100 mph death machines to our children, and that we are shocked that the leading cause of death in teens are car accidents. Thankfully more states are adopting a Graduated Driver’s License system that will protect teens and other drivers from the mistakes that inexperience breeds.

What exactly is a Graduated Driver’s License?

A Graduated Driver’s License is a licensing process for new drivers that aims to restrict their driving privileges until they can:

  • Gain ample driving experience
  • Reach a specific age
  • Reach a specific age
  • Prove that they are responsible enough to drive without causing harm to other drivers

In action the Graduated Driver’s License has 3 stages:

  1. Achieving a learner’s permit
  2. Cycling to a restricted driver’s license
  3. Receiving a full drivers license.

At each stage the new driver is presented with restrictions, such as not being allowed to have any passengers under the age of 25, speed limit restrictions and not being allowed to drive at night. The new driver progresses through each stage until he/she is able to receive an unrestricted license. In the past, new driver’s were able to progress directly from a learner’s permit to a fully unrestricted driver’s license; the results of that system has lead to decades of high teen fatality rates.

The Outcome

The goal of a Graduated Driver’s License system is to slowly introduce teens into the world of driving. It also is punitive to teen drivers who break traffic laws and who are involved in accidents. The G.D.L removes some of the risk and distractions from driving by restricting when a teen can drive, who they can drive with and how fast they are allowed to drive. The endgame is to reduce accidents caused by teen drivers.


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