Wyoming bill targets teen drivers

| 2/10/2003

The Wyoming House Feb. 6 passed a measure aimed at cutting down on carloads of teen-agers and late-night joyriding while stepping up their training time.

The state is one of four states without a graduated driver’s license law; the others are Kansas, Montana and Oklahoma.

“This one law has proven to have the greatest impact of reducing teen driving fatalities,” the bill’s co-sponsor, Rep. Harry Tipton, told Land Line. “Other states that have adopted similar laws have seen as much as a 26 percent reduction in crashes by teen drivers. In Wyoming, this would represent three lives a year and 172 accidents.”

HB80 would require completion of a driver’s education course or at least 50 hours driving under adult supervision – including at least 10 hours of night driving.

The proposal would prohibit teens from being behind the wheel between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed driver 21 or older, driving to and from work, school or religious activities or in an emergency.

Teens would not be allowed to transport multiple passengers under 21 unless accompanied by a licensed driver 21 or older.

At age 17, the driving restriction would be lifted, provided the teen had no prior violations, which would delay full driving privileges one year.

The bill next heads to the state Senate.

by Keith Goble, staff writer