Mississippi bill that sought to boost driving age dies

| Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A bill in Mississippi has died that would have required young drivers in the state to spend more time driving under adult supervision before receiving their licenses.

The bill remained in the House Transportation Committee at the deadline for Senate bills to advance to the full House. It passed the Senate in February.

Sponsored by Sen. Kelvin Butler, D-Magnolia, the measure – SB2839 – called for increasing the driving age by six months, requiring young drivers to have a temporary license – which requires adult supervision – for one year.

The bill also required an intermediate license for six months, which allows teens to drive alone but imposes a 10 p.m. curfew, The Associated Press reported.

Butler said statistics show a 15-year-old is three times more likely to be in an accident than a 16-year-old, and five times more likely than a 17-year-old.

Supporters said the bill would help save lives by giving young drivers more experience on the roads. Opponents said it should be up to parents to decide how long a teen should wait to drive.

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