NEW LAW FOR NEW DRIVERS - HB 90 - THE GRADUATED DRIVER’S LICENSE LAW TAKES EFFECT
FRANKFORT, KY (September 29, 2006) - The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, House Bill sponsor Representative Tom Burch (D-Louisville) and agencies from the Governor’s Committee on Highway Safety remind the public today on the upcoming effective date and the importance of the new Graduated Driver’s License Law.
Teenage drivers account for only 6% of the state’s driving population. Kentucky makes the fortieth state and the District of Columbia to enact a Graduated Driver’s License Program.
House Bill 90 creates an intermediate period of six months between the learner’s permit and a full, unrestricted license. During the intermediary phase, teenagers will have a full license with two restrictions on their driving privileges. One of the restrictions stipulates no driving from midnight to 6:00am, except in cases of emergency. Also, the teen driver will be allowed no more than one unrelated passenger under the age of twenty.
“Last year 985 people lost their lives on Kentucky’s roadways,” said Secretary Bill Nighbert. This administration is making every effort to combat the number of fatalities on our roadways “. “With Governor Fletcher’s leadership we are moving aggressively to achieve new heights with educating the public about driver safety. With the passage of this new law, we are expecting to save twenty-seven teenagers this year. This law will be well served.”
“What is one young life worth?” asked Representative Tom Burch (D-Louisville). “The answer is the whole purpose of the Graduated Driver’s License Law.”
The Department of Transportation Safety Commissioner Tim Hazlette said, "Kentucky has one of the highest teen crash rates in nation. In fact, teenage drivers account for 18% of all fatal crashes in the Commonwealth. The graduated driver's license law will go a long way in helping to reduce young or new driver collisions and fatalities by helping teens develop necessary driving skills."
Studies have shown that North Carolina had a 25% reduction in fatalities after the passage of their graduated driver’s license program. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s goal is to decrease the fatalities and increase awareness and education. With the addition of the primary seatbelt law, the graduated driver’s license law is expected to show a significant decrease of fatalities occurring on our roadways.
“One of the hardest things in life I have done was to wave goodbye to my only daughter as she was entering her freshman year of college at a university six hours from home” said Vehicle Regulation Commissioner Roy Mundy. “Another one of the hardest things in life I did was to kiss that same daughter goodbye as I watched her get into a car that she would be driving all by herself for the first time. Even though her mother and I had spent many hours with her teaching the skills and laws of driving, you still have that empty feeling in your stomach. Kentucky’s new GDL law gives us as parents greater comfort when that time comes when our children get into that car all by themselves to drive. More supervised time behind the wheel, more hours of training with fewer distractions, and more skill level will now be required than before – a much better situation for all concerned.”
Education and Community agencies may receive by request informative Graduated Driver’s License brochures to distribute. Please contact Mark Lester by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (502)564-6800.