New drivers face new rules

Just when new drivers thought they knew all the driving laws, the state has gone and switched things up. The driving curfew and passenger limit have both been reduced.

Starting March 30, new drivers cannot drive between 10 pm and 5 am unless going to or from work or school. Also drivers can only have one other underage non-family member in the car with them unless going to or from school or a school related activity.

The new additions to the law need to be followed by all drivers until they have been driving with their level two license for 6 to 12 months, or until a level three license is acquired.

State Representative Richard Leblanc introduced these ideas to the House of Representatives on March 3, 2009. On December 15, 2010 the governor signed the law.

Kevin Sylvester from Representative Leblanc’s office told the Thunderhawk the reasoning behind the changes to the existing laws.

“When teens start driving it’s best for them to get used to driving on their own before all the distractions are added.” Kevin Sylvester said, “Essentially, it’s for public safety”.

Later Sylvester added that there are many studies out there that prove teens drive worse with a whole car full of distractions. When the car is full of friends and music blaring it would be all too easy for the driver’s attention to the road to falter and a split second is all that is needed for a person to get into a car accident and put everyone’s lives in danger.

The Thunderhawk talked to many students concerning the new laws and the overall consensus is that the students loathe the new laws.

“It’s ridiculous who’s ever going to follow that?” Junior Siara Underwood said.

Failure to follow these new laws result in a penalty determined by the local court. It may consist of a $100 maximum fine and/or a postponement of the driver’s level three license.


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