The new driving law that takes effect Wednesday is known as "First and Ten"
. Teens must stop adding (non-family) passengers under age-21 after the first
back in the driveway by ten
The present curfew is midnight, without any passenger restrictions. The Michigan State Police
website has an excellent summary of the new restrictions.
The new law applies to all level 2, or "intermediate" drivers in Michigan's Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program. These are drivers who are at least 16-years of age who have also completed their coursework and road test.
Statistics published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
provided the impetus for the new law. These stats show that in 2008, more than 60% of all teen age passenger fatalities involve a teen age driver. Also, teens are disproportionately responsible for all traffic fatalities: nearly 20% even though they make-up only 14% of America's driving population.
Driving is indeed a priviledge and central to our way of life. Modern distractions such as cell phones, GPS devices, and sound systems all contribute toward shifting a drivers' focus from the road to the interior of the vehicle. Add a few teen age friends and a teen driver and it's an accident waiting to happen.
The new teen driving law has been splashed on bill boards around Metro-Detroit to increase awareness among drivers; parents and teens alike.
Violators of the new law will receive 2-points on their master driving record and will have their probationary driving period extended for up to a year.
Labels: First and Ten law, Graduated Driver Licensing, Institute for Highway Safety, lawyer, Michigan Motor Vehicle Code, Michigan State Police, teenage driver