New limits sought for young drivers in Arizona

| 12/1/2006

Arizona teens younger than 18 could face new restrictions on their driving if a leading state lawmaker gets his way.

The new chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee said this week he will pursue more limits on teens with Class G driver's licenses. Those licenses are issued to 16- and 17-year-olds who have passed the state driving test.

Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, revealed his plans in reaction to a new report that concluded stricter laws on teen drivers will save lives.

The study from the Arizona Childhood Fatality Review Team shows 132 people under 18 died in motor vehicle crashes in the state last year, the Arizona Daily Star reported. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that automobile accidents are the leading cause of death among teens nationwide.

Gould said he has particular interest in a recommendation to limit who can be passengers in a vehicle with a teen driver who has a Class G license. Another proposal would restrict those drivers to only one additional teen in the vehicle.

"You've got a brand-new driver's license holder and a carload of kids. That's just a recipe for disaster," Gould told the Daily Star.

One other proposal from the review team targets bad drivers. It would allow enhanced penalties for Class G license holders caught speeding or violating any other traffic laws.