Graduated driver’s license
The statistics of teen driving make sobering reading. Driving is now the leading cause of death according to the CDC. Given all these deaths are avoidable, that’s a terrible indictment of the system America has in place to train people for driving. Nationally, the figures show a willful disregard for the law by the young. Almost one-quarter of sixteen-year old drivers are either involved in an accident or pick up a ticket during the first twelve months of their driving career. On July 1, 1999, Colorado followed other states by introducing a graduated law. The intention is to reduce accidents by forcing the young to go through three stages before they can pick up a full driver’s license.
If the applicant is aged between:
• fourteen-and-a-half and fifteen, he or she can go through an online education course and receive an approved affidavit of completion — once the applicant passes the written test, an education permit is issued;
• fifteen and fifteen-and-a-half, he or she must go through a DMV-approved education course. Attendance must be verified by an affidavit — the point being that if the person certifying satisfactory attendance is found less than honest, there can be a prosecution for perjury. Once the applicant reaches the age of fifteen-and-a-half, a driver’s awareness permit is issued. At sixteen, a minor instruction permit is issued.
Transition between an instruction and a minor driver’s license depends on passing a road test. The difference between the two is that, under the age of eighteen, the driver must be accompanied by an adult who logs the completion of the required fifty hours of driving time. With the minor driver’s license, there’s a limit on carrying passengers under the age of twenty-one until there’s at least six months of experience behind the wheel.
Individuals under the age of sixteen must go through a preset number of hours training with a driving school instructor, plus a further set of hours of supervision by a parent both in daylight and at night. For obvious reasons, the young drivers prefer to maximize the number of hours with the parent. Nervous parents may prefer to pick up the bill for a driving school to do the basic work. To ensure parents are directly involved in the decision-making, the parents must accept liability for young drivers. This gives them a direct incentive to enforce the limitations on passenger and night driving imposed during the early years.