New teen driving laws go into effect January 1stFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - DMV's across North Dakota are packed with teens. They're trying to beat a January 1st deadline. A new law goes into effect that day and it requires teens to wait longer to get their licenses.
DMV's across North Dakota are packed with teens. They're trying to beat a January 1st deadline. A new law goes into effect that day and it requires teens to wait longer to get their licenses.
Devon Redden turned 14 today. Her birthday present: A thin plastic card.
Devon Redden – Permit Holder: "I was really excited that I passed."
Devon got her learner's permit and in six months she can get her license.
Devon Redden: "I guess it kind of makes me feel like I have more freedom."
Freedom other kids her age will have to wait longer for. Starting January 1st, 14 and 15 year-olds will have to wait a year to get their licenses from the day they get their permits.
Devon Redden: "I think it has to do with the amount of practice you get and how confident you feel rather than the time limit."
Rep. Ed Gruchalla – (D) ND 45th District: "And I look at this as just an apprenticeship. It's a time for you to gain experience of driving before you are turned loose by yourself."
Permit holders under the age of 16 will also have to log 50 hours of supervised driving.
Rep. Ed Gruchalla: "So you have an opportunity to drive in all four seasons on various surfaces like during the snow and ice, drive on some gravel roads have some nighttime."
In 2010, nearly 31,000 teen drivers ages 14 to 19 were on the roads. 13 were involved in fatal crashes. On average teens were involved in 9.6 crashes each day that year.
Rep. ED Gruchalla: "What this will do is hopefully reduce some of those accidents and save some lives."
As far as Devon goes, her dad says even though she has her permit, that doesn't mean she'll be getting her license in six months.
Don Redden – Devon’s Father: “If I'm not comfortable with her getting her license or her mom's not comfortable, then no she's not gonna get it.”
The new law does not apply to teens who get their permits before January 1st. The law also makes it illegal for drives under the age of 18 to use electronic devices.