A new bill could extend provisional driving restrictions to new drivers up to 20 years old. Assemblyman Jim Frazier presented AB 63 in the hope of reducing the amount of accidents among new drivers, but we at The Olympian have big concerns about the proposal.
Currently, the provisional license prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., with a few exceptions for those who work, have medical necessities, and participate in school activities. Teens also cannot transport anyone under the age of 20 unless accompanied by a licensed driver of 25 years or older, making it highly inconvenient for students of both college and high school level to carpool in activities. Teens are also unable to use a cell phone while driving, including hands-free devices.
Should the bill be enacted, new drivers would face the same restrictions, even if they get their licenses at age 20. We at The Olympian find AB 63 controversial on many counts.
We believe that being unable to drive your friends and family around unless they are over the age of 21 is very restrictive. Young drivers commonly break this law. It’s a hassle for parents to drive kids around, especially to school. Drop-off traffic at CVHS is a major issue in the community. But if provisional drivers were to carpool with other students, we would be able to have fewer cars on our roads.
Also, we think it’s illogical for those 18 and older to be legal adults but unable to drive without a provisional license. At the age of 18, people are allowed to vote and join the military. Why should they have to drive with the same restrictions as minors? Curfew rules are okay as they stand.
We agree with Frazier that new drivers aged 18-20 need to practice, but they don’t need a law to make them do that. On the other hand, we think cell phone use should be prohibited for all drivers, even those 21 and over.
Mainly, we believe the current six-month term for which an underage driver must hold a learner’s permit should be left as is, and not applied to legal adults 18 and over.