LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A California assemblyman has introduced a bill that would require new drivers under 21 years of age to hold a provisional driver’s license and abide by a curfew.
Under current California law, newly licensed drivers younger than 18 are required to hold a provisional license for a year. Those drivers are prohibited from taking to the roads between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., and are also prohibited from having kids or teenagers in their car unless a licensed driver or instructor is present.
The new bill, AB 63, introduced by Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Oakley), would extend those same restrictions to new drivers under 21 years of age.
The idea is to reduce traffic collisions involving older teenagers and 20-year-olds.
New drivers who are 18 and 19-years-old have a far higher crash rate than 16 and 17-year-old drivers who have gone through California’s provisional license program, Steve Barrow, a spokesperson for the California Coalition for Children’s Safety and Health told KPCC.
“Their crash rate is incredibly high and incredibly dangerous,” Barrow told the station.
Teenagers who need to drive late at night or early in the morning for school or work-related reasons can, under current law, be granted an exception to the restrictions. Similar exceptions would be made for provisional license holders under 21, Frazier’s bill says.
Violations of a provisional license can result in additional restrictions, license suspensions or fines.
Opponents allege expanding the restrictions to new drivers under 21 would infringe on basic rights.
“It’s a grotesque violation of the right for adults to travel freely, all for the name of public safety,” Reason magazine’s political blog Hit & Run said in a post.