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Graduated Driver’s Licenses Could Help Protect Jonesboro Teens

Graduated licensing rules apply for new teen drivers in Jonesboro. Arkansas teens can apply for a permit at 14 and must have their learner's permit for at least six months before getting an intermediate license. An intermediate license is not available until age 16, so those who get a permit right at age 14 will have to wait two years.

A personal injury lawyer knows that driver inexperience is dangerous and that auto accidents remain a leading cause of deaths among young people. Graduated licensing aims to reduce the number of collisions caused by teen drivers because these young drivers are restricted in what they can do until they have learned some necessary driving skills. a-car-1324052-m

The National Safety Council (NSC) has recently published a comprehensive report on a proposed graduated licensing rules intended to serve as a guide to states as well as to countries worldwide who want to protect new drivers and reduce the risk of collisions.

The NSC's Suggestions for Graduated Licensing

The National Safety Council believes that graduated licensing rules should actually apply to all drivers. However, the rules for adults should be more relaxed than the strict protocol that teens should follow.

The NSC's suggested protocol involves a two-phase graduated licensing program. The first learner phase would begin when a teen gets his or her learner's permit. A young person would need to take a test to get this permit, and that test would include information about the GDL program. The earliest age at which a teen would be eligible for a learner's permit is age 16.

The first learner phase of the GDL program would be required to last for at least a 12-month period of time. During this time, the new driver would not be allowed to use cell phones or electronic devices while driving and would be required to wear a seat belt at all times. The new driver would also be subject to zero tolerance rules prohibiting the consumption of any alcohol. At least 50 hours of supervised driving would be required to occur during the learner phase. The NSC would require logs of the driving practice time. The new driver would also be subject to a requirement to affix decals to his vehicle alerting law enforcement and the public that he was a new driver within the learner phase.

The second intermediate phase of the GDL program could begin as early as age 17, provided the new driver was able to pass a comprehensive road test to graduate into the intermediate phase.

During the intermediate phase, which would last for at least 12 months, the new driver would be prohibited from night driving without supervision between 9-10 PM and 5:00 AM the next morning. The new driver would also be subject to a restriction that he have no more than one teenaged passenger in the car.

At the close of the intermediate phase, the new driver would be able to progress to a full and unrestricted license only after passing a computer-based or on-road exit exam. The earliest this could occur is age 18.

These protocols introduce teens to the world of driving gradually, with the hope of being able to shape a new driver into a smart driver who knows the rules of the road and who makes safe choices.

If you were injured or a loved one died in a collision, a Jonesboro personal injury lawyer can fight to protect your rights. Contact the McDaniel Law Firm at 1-855-524-4744. Serving Northeast Arkansas including Jonesboro, Paragould, Craighead County, Lawrence County, Greene County, Mississippi County, Poinsett County and surrounding areas.

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