For decades, eager teenagers have endured six months of patience and practice with a learner’s permit before they could take their driving tests, and then another year of restrictions on their licenses once they passed.
Now, with the number of teen drivers nationally dropping to an all-time low, Assemblyman Jim Frazier wants similar requirements extended to young adults, who are actually involved in more vehicle crashes. His 20-year-old daughter was killed in a traffic collision.
The Oakley Democrat’s Assembly Bill 63, which was sent to the governor on Wednesday, would require Californians between 18 and 21 years of age to wait at least 60 days after earning their learner’s permit to apply for a driver’s license. They would also receive a provisional license for one year, though the restrictions during that period – including no driving privileges between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., and no transporting passengers under 20 years of age without supervision – are not as extensive as those for younger drivers. Active members of the military would be exempt.
Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, noted there are financial, as well as public safety, advantages to the change. She recounted the experience of her neighbor’s daughter, who did not get her driver’s license until she was almost 20.
“Her insurance rates were much higher, because she did not go through the training required for someone who is 16,” Waldron said. “It really is a benefit to have this provisional program.”