Traffic Laws for Your Teen Driver

Explore:  Driver's Licenses

One of the most exciting days in teenagers’ lives is the day they begin to drive. This rite of passage represents freedom and maturity. For parents, however, stress and concern often accompany this important milestone.

You are no longer a constant presence in the vehicle, protecting your child from danger. But you can give your teen the tools to handle the responsibility of driving safely. Teaching your teen commonsense driving skills improves your child’s safety — and may lower your anxiety level.

Georgia traffic statutes are intended to better prepare teens for when they are given the keys. Joshua’s Law — named for a boy who lost his life in a motor vehicle crash — places more restrictive licensing requirements on 16-year-old drivers. To be eligible to take the Class D driver license test at 16 years old, your teen must:

  • Complete a Department of Driver Services-approved driver education course
  • Have at least 40 hours of supervised driving experience and six hours of nighttime supervised driving experience

In addition, Georgia’s Teenage and Adult Driver Responsibility Act (TADRA) restricts the privileges granted to young drivers. TADRA imposes these conditions on drivers who are 16 to 18 years old and hold a Class D driver license:

  • A curfew bans driving between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Only family members are allowed as passengers for the first six months your teen has the license.
  • During the second six months, your teen is permitted to have one passenger under 21 years old who is not a member of the family.
  • After one year, your teen may have up to three passengers under 21 years old who are not family members.

Georgia’s distracted driving laws are designed to keep motorists’ attention on driving, with their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. Not only is texting or talking on the phone while driving dangerous, it is also illegal. Your teen should be aware of these rules while operating a motor vehicle:

  • There is a ban on handheld and hands-free mobile phones and other devices for novice drivers.
  • There is a ban on texting for all drivers.

Topics:  Driver's Licenses

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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