Teen driver restrictions advance in California

| 6/17/2005

Three bills in California are moving forward that would tighten up the rules for teen drivers in an effort to make the state’s roads safer.

The measures, which have passed their respective chambers, are:

  • SB806, sponsored by Sen. Jackie Speier, D-San Francsico, to prohibit drivers from transporting other teens for the first year after they receive their driver’s licenses;
  • AB1474, sponsored by Assembly Member Bill Maze, R-Visalia, to change current law – which forces teen drivers off the road from midnight to 5 a.m. – and start the curfew an hour earlier, at 11 p.m.; and
  • AB963, sponsored by Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, R-Cathedral City, to prevent teens age 16 to 18 from using cell phones while driving.

The restrictions are all aimed at helping teen drivers stay safe until they have more experience behind the wheel.

“We’ve assumed that a 16-year-old is as knowledgeable and experienced as a 35-or 40-year-old behind the wheel,” Garcia told The Sacramento Bee. “We’re learning that’s not the case.”

Speier added an amendment to her bill that would require teens to put a “distinguishing placard” in their cars’ back windows, apparently so everyone else on the road will know what they’re up against.