Stricter teen driving vetoed in California

Just down the West Coast from Washington and Oregon, California Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have restricted teen driving between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and lengthened learner’s permits from six to nine months.
   The bill was introduced by a California lawmaker whose 20-year-old daughter died in a December 2000 car crash.
   Instead, Gov. Brown called for training and education that would improve highway safety for his state’s beginning drivers.
   California drivers 16 to 19 are four times more likely to be involved in a crash than other age groups, and they receive the most tickets, according to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
   In 1998, California implemented a graduated-license law that’s similar to Washington’s and Oregon’s laws. Already, beginning drivers in the Golden State must practice 50 hours with an adult age 25 or older and can’t drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. except with a parent or guardian.
   Our Northwest neighbor Idaho differs from all three West Coast states. Idaho allows teens to get a learner’s permit earlier, at age 14½, and teens can earn a license at 15. But Idaho's nighttime restrictions for those with a permit run longer, extending from sunset to sunrise.
   Read the San Francisco Chronicle article.

by  Jon Osterberg



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