A push to reduce teen car accidents in Ohio

According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, teenagers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash than other drivers. Ohio has been taking active steps to combat this statistic. The state has passed a new law affecting teen driving, and a second bill is currently making its way through the House of Representatives.

Earlier this year, a new law went into effect that imposed higher restrictions on teenagers who waited until they were 18 to get their driver’s license. Previously, if you waited until you became a legal adult to get your driver’s license, you could take the driver’s exam an unlimited number of times, and you could skip driver’s education altogether.

The new law has done away with this exemption. Drivers 18 and older now have one chance to pass their driver’s exam. If they fail, they must complete 24 hours of driving with a licensed adult—age 21 or older—as well as attend a four-hour driving class.

The teen-targeted legal reform hasn’t stopped there. A new proposal currently being considered by the House of Representatives would extend the amount of time a teenage driver is required to carry a learner’s permit before getting a license—from six to 12 months. Additionally, the bill proposes changing nighttime driving restrictions for teens with learner’s permits. Currently, permit holders are prohibited from driving between midnight and 6 a.m., but the bill would change that start time to 9 p.m. The bipartisan sponsors of the bills report that 75 percent of crashes involving teenagers occur between 9 p.m. and midnight.

In order for the proposed bill to become law, it must pass in both the House and the Senate by the end of 2018.

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