Maryland bill restricts who rides with young drivers

| 3/11/2003

Maryland state Sen. Roy Dyson wants young drivers to spend some quality alone time behind the wheel as they get used to the responsibilities of driving.

Dyson, D-St. Mary’s, has proposed legislation that would prohibit young drivers from carrying teen passengers for their first six licensed months.

“Everyone realizes that young drivers are not as responsible as they should be,” Dyson told the Capital News Service. “And there have been many deaths that have driven this home again and again.”

Federal and state statistics show that from January 1997 through June 30, 2002, 488 youths between the ages of 16 and 20 died in Maryland highway accidents, the news service reported.

SB63 would bar anyone under 18, except immediate family, from riding with a new driver.

The measure would make the infraction a secondary offense, meaning police could only ticket teen drivers if they had pulled them over for some other offense.