Washington, DC – The COG Board of Directors approved a resolution urging the District of Columbia, State of Maryland, and Commonwealth of Virginia to enact laws that meet minimum regional standards regarding the licensing of young drivers.
The minimum standards include:
- Minimum age of 16 years to obtain a learner’s permit;
- Minimum 50 hours of behind-the-wheel experience prior to receiving a provisional license;
- Minimum age 16 and a half years to obtain a provisional license;
- Minimum age of 18 to obtain a full license;
- Curfew for drivers under 18 be from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM; exceptions are made for work and school related activities;
- Limit of one passenger for the first 6 months of unsupervised driving with primary enforcement;
- Require all passengers to wear seatbelts with primary enforcement.
“Car crashes are the number one killer of teens, bar none,” Lon Anderson, Staff Director of Public and Government Relations, AAA Potomac told the COG Board. He noted that while the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia currently have fairly strong licensing laws, area parents need to make sure their children are following them. The COG Board urged local governments and school systems to better inform students and parents about the licensing laws for young drivers.
Members of the COG Board were also briefed on key findings of the How Safe Are Our Roads Report, prepared by COG and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program. It showed an increase in alcohol-related fatalities, injuries and crashes last year following a two-year decline in the region. The report underscored the dangers of impaired driving and automobile accidents, especially accidents involving teen drivers.