Oklahoma lawmakers have approved a plan intended to gradually introduce driving privileges to young drivers.
Gov. Brad Henry recently signed a bill into law that adds Oklahoma to about 40 states that already have graduated driver’s license systems that restrict young drivers.
Graduated driver’s license systems require teens to be issued an intermediate license for a period of time, and sometimes specify they drive under supervision and during only certain hours. The Oklahoma law takes effect Nov. 1.
An intermediate license can be obtained after driving with a permit for six months. Applicants cannot have any convictions on their driving record. They must have a parent or legal guardian certify that they received a minimum of 40 hours of behind-the-wheel training.
Once a teen receives their intermediate license, another six-month probationary period begins.
The new law – previously HB1653 – restricts driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. during the first year licensed. Young drivers would be allowed to drive during the restricted time period if accompanied by a licensed driver over 21 years of age.
The night-driving restriction is also lifted if driving to or from work, school or church.
The new law also prohibits more than one passenger in the vehicle under age 21 unless they are relatives in the same household.
At the end of six months, if the young driver maintains a clean record, they can apply for an unrestricted license.