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Are parents doing enough to get their teens to follow GDL rules?

There are certain driving restrictions that teen drivers are subject to that other drivers are not. This is because of graduated driver license (GDL) programs in states. Under these programs, young drivers are given special licenses that have certain restrictions connected to them.

States differ in what sorts of restrictions they put on teen drivers under their licensing program. Examples of restrictions Missouri’s GDL program puts on teens who hold an intermediate license are:

  • A ban on driving between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. without having a licensed driver of at least 21 years of age as a passenger (there are a few narrow exceptions to this ban).
  • Limits on how many non-immediate-family passengers under the age of 19 the driver can have. The limit is one such passenger until six months have passed from the time the driver got their intermediate license, at which point it switches to three such passengers.

Now, what sorts of restrictions a state’s GDL program contains is not the only thing that can impact how effective such a program is at helping keep teen drivers safe. Another thing is how vigilant parents are at ensuring their teen drivers are following such restrictions.

Given this, many may find the results of a recent survey of parents of teen drivers troubling. The results indicate that a fair number of parents do not enforce all GDL rules when it comes to their kids. The percentage of the surveyed parents who said that they prohibit their teens from ignoring any license restrictions they are subject to was only 41 percent. Why do you think this is so?

Research further indicates that kids whose parents don’t strongly enforce GDL restrictions are more likely to engage in unsafe driving conduct.

So, it can be very important for parents here in Missouri to be aware of the state’s GDL laws and to take appropriate steps to ensure their teens follow the restrictions these laws put in place. What methods would you recommend to parents for enforcing such restrictions?

When a person here in Missouri is hurt because a driver disobeyed traffic laws, such as GDL laws if the driver is a teen, they may want to go to a skilled auto crash attorney for assessments/explanations of their legal options.

Source: The Street, “Parents aren't enforcing teen driver laws,” May 6, 2016

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Ben Schmitt

Attorney Ben Schmitt

Mr. Schmitt has over 25 years of legal experience in Missouri and Kansas, and he has been first chair in over 100 jury trials in state and federal courts. He is recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal, Super Lawyers, and Martindale Hubbell as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Missouri and Kansas.