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Teen Driver Safety Bill Vetoed by Governor

Monday, November 11, 2013

A California bill that would have included stricter licensing requirements for teenage motorists and stronger curfews for novice drivers has been vetoed by the Governor.

Gov Brown recently vetoed the bill that had been introduced by Assemblyman Jim Frazier D-Oakley. Under the bill, teenage drivers would be required to maintain a learner's permit for nine months instead of the current six months. The bill would also have stricter driving restrictions for teenage drivers. The bill would ban teenage drivers from driving between 10 PM and 5 AM. These are the hours that see the highest number of accidents involving teenage drivers, and the bill would ensure fewer teenage motorists on the road during these dangerous hours.

According to the Governor, while he does agree with the need for reducing the number of accidents involving teenage drivers, it is more important now to focus on strengthening teenage driver training programs, than enacting new laws. He plans to direct agencies like the Department of Motor Vehicles to establish a stronger driver training program for teenage motorists.

In California, drivers between the age of 16 and 19 are approximately 4 times more likely to be involved in an accident, compared to other motorists. The California Department of Motor Vehicles released a report in March, which also indicated that drivers between the between the age of 16 and 19 also have the highest average annual traffic citation rate.

California has attempted to address the problem of teen motorist safety, and has some of the strongest teen driver safety laws in the country. These laws are included in the state’s Graduated Driver Licensing Program which was implemented in 1998. However, there are certain provisions in the GDL program that could be modified and enhanced, and this could help prevent more teenage car accidents.



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