Obtaining a driver's license is an exciting moment for teens in Laredo and across Texas. Having a license, however, can create a significant risk for young people. Teen drivers are the age group that is the most prone to becoming involved in car accidents. Crashes are also one of the top reasons for the deaths of young people.
A personal injury lawyer knows that graduated driver's licensing programs (GDLs) can help to reduce the dangers that teens face when getting behind the wheel for the first time. These graduated programs slowly expand the freedom and responsibilities that a teen driver has in order to ensure that young people have time to practice their driving in a safe environment. While Texas already has a graduated license program in place, as do most locations throughout the country, the National Safety Council has some suggestions that it urges lawmakers to consider.
What is the Ideal Graduated License Protocol?
The National Safety Council has published a report on a proposed graduated licensing framework that it believes is the ideal GDL program. The program was developed in consultation with experts after reviewing driver's education programs that were effective and after reviewing literature on teen licensing.
The NSC believes that every new driver should have to go through a GDL process, although the process would be more relaxed for those who are past the teen years and who get their license as adults. The suggested process for teens would involve two phases: a learner's phase and an intermediate phase.
A teen would first be allowed to get his learner's permit at age 16, according to the NSC's proposed plan. He would then be in the learning phase for at least a period of 12 months. During this time, a minimum of 50 hours of supervised driving time would be required. Logs should be kept of this driving time. A driver with a learner's permit would be subject to zero tolerance rules for DUI and would not be allowed to use any kinds of electronic devices like cell phones while driving. Teen drivers in the learner phase would need to have decals on their vehicles alerting law enforcement and other motorists to the fact that they are novice drivers.
When a teen reaches age 17, he could move into the intermediate phase provided he had enough driving practice and all other requirements are met. The young person would need to take a test before moving into this phase.
In the intermediate phase, driving during the day with no supervision is fine, but not driving at night. Night would be defined as between 9:00 and 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM the next day. A driver in the intermediate phase would also not be allowed to drive a car with more than one teen passenger in it. This is because having many teen passengers increases the risk of a collision.
The intermediate phase could end when the teen turned 18, or when the teen became ready to take a road test or computer simulator and show he was ready for a full license.
If you were injured or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident, contact us today. The Law Office of John R. Solis has experience protecting the rights of accident victims in Laredo and across Texas. Call 866-465-9093 for a free case consultation.