New York's new Graduated Driver's License Law take effect today, February 22, 2010.
Applicable to young drivers under 18 years of age, the new law:
- Reduces from two to one the number of non-family passengers under age 21 riding in a motor vehicle operated by a junior license holder when not accompanied by a licensed parent or guardian;
- Eliminates the limited use junior license and require that a junior permit be held for at least 6 months before a junior or senior license may be issued; and
- Increases the number of supervised driving hours before scheduling a road test from 20 to 50 hours, that includes 15 hours of driving after sunset.
According to NYS DMV Commissioner David Swarts' explanatory video, " The intent of this new law, called the Graduated Driving Law, is to help prepare our young drivers for the life-long responsibility of driving. The rationale behind these changes is very simple. Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for teens. The crash fatality rate is highest for 16- to 17-year-olds within the first six months of getting their license. These changes strengthen the current law and address the main causes of teen driver crashes-distractions and inexperience."