Sixteen no longer means the same driving right of passage it once did
From our friends at Fresh Green Light:
On February 22nd, New York enhanced its Graduated Driver Licensing(GDL) laws to help address teenage drivers’ inexperience and distraction behind the wheel.
First, a new driver will have to complete fifty hours of supervised driving with either a parent or certified instructor before they can get their license. And fifteen of these hours need to happen at night.
Second, teenage drivers will only be allowed to have one passenger who isn’t a family member in the car with them at any time. The restriction of only driving between 5am and 9pm remains the same. Click here for all the details.â€¨â€¨Bottom line – these new laws make common sense. Think about it – you spent a lot more than 50 hours learning to play a sport or musical instrument well. And you weren’t trying to learn while you were texting or chatting with your friends.
Becoming a good driver takes the same level of practice and concentration. And unlike those other activities, making a mistake behind the wheel can have terrible life long consequences for you and everyone around you.
What does this mean for HS Drivers Ed?â€¨â€¨Unfortunately, nothing. In spite of the overwhelming research that proves GDL laws are saving our teenagers’ lives, students who attend a HS driver education program in NY (and several other states) completely bypass the GDL requirements and get a senior license – with no restrictions – at 17. â€¨â€¨This loophole may have made sense when High Schools had rigorous and effective driver education programs, taught by HS teachers and built into the core curriculum of the school, but unfortunately, we all know that those days are long gone.â€¨â€¨I know many of you parents have expressed your dismay about this loophole, and if you’re interested in trying to do something about it, I’d suggest you click here to learn more about The Standup Act and urge our legislators to getthis bill passed.