There has been a lot of focus lately on making sure that teenage drivers practice safer driving. One idea that was floating around for a while was raising the legal driving age. That obviously didn’t happen but some stricter laws for newer drivers are now in effect that will drastically change not only what is needed to obtain a license but also the repercussions for speeding.
Changes in the Law for Junior Operators
In order to obtain a valid drivers license in Massachusetts teens will have to log 40 hours of driving time with their parents. This is a huge increase from the previously required 12 hours. Along with parental supervised driving hours a teen will have to log 12 hours of driving time that is supervised by a driving instructor. The previous amount required was 6 hours.
If you are a Junior Operator who gets pulled over for speeding you will now have a different punishment than just a citation. If a Junior Operator gets pulled over for speeding they will now have their license suspended for 90 days. On top of that suspension a junior operator will have to complete a driver re-education program, a state sanctioned road rage program and will be forced to pay a $500.00 reinstatement fee once the 90 suspension is over.
So what is hoped to be accomplished with the updated Junior Operator Laws? The state is hoping to become proactive instead of reactive when it comes to the amount of auto accidents that are caused by teens due to lack of driving experience and speeding. I honestly believe that this will have a positive effect. I know that if I was still a junior operator and knew that I would have to deal with tons of repercussions for speeding… I wouldn’t speed. I also think that a required 52 hours of logged driving time prior to being able to take the license test is an excellent idea to ensure that someone gets adequate supervised experience.
I’m sure that the teens who have to comply with these new laws are thinking that it sucks. I probably would have too when I was younger.
But will we have safer roads because of the law changes?
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