Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney P.C.

Special restrictions on new drivers scrutinized after accident

Getting a driver's license is a rite of passage for many teenagers. Presently in Connecticut special restriction apply to all new 16-year-old and 17-year-old drivers. Connecticut law states that in the first six months after getting a driver's license, 16-year-old and 17-year-old teens can only drive a car when a parent or legal guardian who has a valid driver's license is with them in the car. After the six month period tolls, 16-year-old and 17-year-old drivers may drive with their parent and can also have other immediate family members, such as a sibling, in the vehicle they are operating.

Connecticut residents may find it interesting that despite this clear and strict law, recently a collision between a SUV driven by a 16-year-old and a group of motorcyclists left at least one motorcyclist dead and at least two others injured. According to reports, the accident happened in the afternoon and was a head-on collision between the SUV and the group of motorcyclists. Preliminary investigation reports indicate that the 16-year-old was in violation of at least two provisions of the Connecticut law on special restrictions for new drivers.

The 16-year-old driver reportedly only had her license for two months at the time of the accident, but she did not have a parent or legal guardian with a valid license in the vehicle with her. And, she was said to be transporting not only her twin sister, but also another 16-year-old passenger.

The risk of a car accident occurring when there are a couple teens in the same car goes up exponentially because of the potential for distraction. The Connecticut law went into effect in 2008 to prevent and minimize such tragic accidents.

Source: WTNH, "DMV: 16-year-old driver in deadly crash should not have had passengers," Mark Davis, May 22, 2015

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