A group of safety advocates, including car accident victims and their parents, stood in front of Congress today to urge them to stiffen the restrictions for teen drivers. They’ve drawn up what they call the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection (STANDUP) Act. Instead of teenagers being able to get a driver’s permit at age 15, they are pushing for that age limit to change to 16 years-old, according to this news report. In addition. They would like to restrict teens from getting a full, unrestricted driver’s license until they are 18 years of age.
In Washington State, we already have what is considered an intermediate license for teenagers. If they get a license when they are 16 years of age, they have to go 6 months without a traffic violation before they can advance to the next level of the license. Initially, they cannot drive anyone in their car, and then they are able to drive only 3 people. Also, they can only drive during certain hours of the day. There is a zero tolerance policy when it comes to cell phone use while driving, even if it is hands-free.
Considering how long it can take Congress to put legislature into action, I urge parents to take action themselves, even without a law in place. As a Seattle personal injury attorney, I think it’s important to remember that car accidents are still the number one killer of teens between 15 and 19. As a parent, you can implement your own driving restrictions for your teen. If your teen is driving your family vehicle and if you are paying for their car insurance, they need to understand that driving is a privilege and not a right.