Thursday, May 23, 2013
Provisional Driver's Licenses Reduce Teen-Involved Driving Crashes
Under the provisional license, teens are not allowed to have friends in the car or drive late at night.
Four teenagers sent to the hospital this week after a crash in Birchwood have some wondering how prepared our young people are who get behind the wheel.
But the state says some changes made in the last five years are actually making Alaska’s teens better drivers.
Young drivers are now required to get what’s called a provisional license.
That means teens who are at least 16 years old must pass both a written test and a road test. After that, a provisional license is issued for the next six months.
Under the provisional license, teens are not allowed to have friends in the car—they can only transport siblings.
They can’t drive alone late at night and can’t have convictions for a driving offense or consuming alcohol. If they follow the rules they are granted a regular Alaska driver’s license in six months.
DMV officials say the idea is to make teen drivers safer on the road by letting them gain confidence and experience gradually. They say that crashes involving teen drivers have gone down at least 30 percent since the new provisional license rules were put in place.