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Maryland reveals effects of new teen driving laws

Do you remember what it was like to be a new driver? You were probably either completely stoked to have gained a new freedom, or else you might have been somewhat terrified to hit the roads.

Either way, one thing is true for all new drivers. A lack of driving experience can lead to traffic violations and dangerous car accidents. Maryland thinks that it has found driving laws that serve to prevent death and injury related to teen driving.

By October 2009, Maryland's stricter teen driving laws went into effect. Traffic laws related to teen drivers are as follows:

  • The earliest someone can get a learning permit is three months before their 16th birthday.
  • No one under the age of 16 ½ can get a provisional driver's license.
  • Driving with a provisional license means that a teen can have only one person in his or her car at a time, and that passenger can be either a family member or someone who is 18 or older.
  • Between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m., drivers under 18 cannot drive.
  • Teen drivers will graduate from a provisional license if they don't violate any of the terms throughout the five-month period.

According to recent reports, these changes in teen driving laws in Maryland have resulted in less injured teen and adult drivers. Research shows that there was a 25 percent decrease in the number of teen traffic fatalities in 2010 compared to 2009. Fatalities caused by teen drivers decreased by about 40 percent in 2010 compared to 2008.

What do you think about Maryland teen driving laws? Are they strict enough? Do you think that they are too strict? Please, feel free to share your ideas on this blog.


The Capital: "State: Tougher teen driving law working," Katie Mortiz, 26 Jun. 2011

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