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Parents dread the day when their teenage kids become legally ready to get behind the wheel. It may have some convenience side effects, like no more ushering him or her back and forth to the mall or sports practice. But the dangers associated with teen drivers remains a top concern. This is especially true for teens hitting the road in New York.
Sure, traffic injuries and deaths have decreased in New York. In 2018, New York traffic fatalities dipped below 200. This is mainly contributed to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to make traffic fatalities non-existent.
“Vision Zero is working,” Mayor de Blasio explained. “The lower speed limit, increased enforcement and safer street designs are all building on each other to keep New Yorkers safe. Now we must deepen this work. Not even a single tragedy on our streets is acceptable, and we’ll keep fighting every day to protect our people.”
But it is still dangerous for teen drivers. And it’s not just the dangers on the road that are at stake. Teens in new York are under stricter enforcement due to the Vision Zero plan. The following can serve as a quick guide for parents with teen drivers soon to merge onto New York roads. Let’s dive in!
Licensing Teens And Police Enforcement
In New York, teens age 17 can get a full-blown, unrestricted driver’s license after having a junior license and driver’s education course certificate. Teens can also get an unrestricted, full license at the age of 18 after having a junior license. What’s the difference between a junior license and a full license in New York? No more restrictions like night driving or having teen passengers.
The ability to have passengers in the vehicle with a teen passenger behind the wheel is a big one. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Teens driving with teen passengers: The presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers. This risk increases with the number of teen passengers.”
It’s important to have a driving agreement with your teen before letting them hit the road. This includes talking about police enforcement of New York traffic laws. Cell phone use while driving, wearing seat belts, drinking and driving, reckless driving, and other serious violations will be strictly enforced in New York, especially with the Vision Zero plan in place.
If stopped, teens need to have their driver’s license ready, insurance, and vehicle registration ready to show police. Respect and cooperating with the police during a traffic stop is also important. And if your teen gets a ticket, expect to head to court to deal with the consequences, like hefty fines, points against his or her license, and even license suspension.
New York Traffic Infractions And Points System — What’s At Stake For Teens
If your teen gets a traffic infraction, it could be pretty bad. That’s why discussing the types of traffic infractions and points penalties associated is important. When you frame it in a serious way, with the potential for losing their driving privileges by you or the state of New York, they may be far more attentive.
● Traffic infractions and license points include:
● Speeding (11-20 mph over limit) – 4 points
● Speeding (21-30 mph over limit) – 6 points
● Speeding (31-40 mph over limit) – 8 points
● Reckless driving – 5 points
● Not stopping for school bus – 5 points
● Not stopping at signal or stop sign – 3 points
● Texting and driving – 5 points
● Improper cell phone use – 5 points
The list can go on, but those are among the top teen violations and points. Not to mention that a driver can get multiple traffic infraction tickets in one stop. If your teen gets 6 points within an 18 month period, they can be liable to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee of $100. Accumulating 11 points and their license will be suspended.
Safe Driving Tips For Teens To Obey By And Parents To Enforce
Are New York driving violations being enforced with vigor in the city? Yes. But this doesn’t take the responsibility off the parents of teen drivers. Parents need to take a proactive approach to ensure their teens are safe and maintain a good driving record. A few tips include, turning off smartphones while in the car, no texting and driving (hands free only), obeying the speed limit (25 mph in New York now), limiting teen passengers, not driving at night, practicing defensive driving tactics, and above all no drinking and driving.
Driving safe is an important parent teen conversation to have. Be sure to make the conversation a two-way street and constructive. This will keep your teen attentive and more willing to practice safe driving habits. It is also important for parents to show, not just talk about it, so be safe drivers too parents. Do you have any teen driving tips?