Ohio New Driver Laws Went Into Affect In July, But Are Often Missed By Teen Drivers
The state of Ohio recently passed stricter driving laws for Ohio drivers under the age of 18. The new driver laws went into effect at the beginning of July, but. With most teens simply just wanting to drive in groups with friends, some Ohio teens may still be unaware of the new changes that may effect their ability to drive and their actions may be breaking Ohio law. Therefore, we may have to count on parents and legal guardians to help their teens understand and follow these new driver laws. Not only will this prevent license suspension, fines, and legal trouble, but it will also help keep teens safe.
The new Ohio driving laws tighten the restrictions on when teens can drive and how many passengers can be in the vehicle with a teen driver. Under the new law, teens are unable to drive with more than one non-family passenger and are not allowed to drive between the hours of 12 and 6 AM without special permission from employers or school authorities.
Driving with too many passengers is a primary offense- meaning that just like for speeding and cell phone use, Ohio police can pull teen drivers over for having too many passengers. However, the employment law is a secondary offense. A teen driver would have to have violated a primary offense before an officer would pull over a teen driver for driving after midnight. Under the new law, if teens are convicted of a moving violation, they must travel with their parents for six months after the incident. Research shows that it can take up to five years to become an experienced driver. This was the driving force behind the laws for new drivers that Ohio recently implemented.
According to The Ohio State Highway Patrol, the reason for the stricter laws is simply a concern for the safety of young drivers. The National Safety Council released a report in 2015 indicating that children between the ages of 16 and 18 are more likely to die in car crashes than any other age group. Additionally, teens who drive between the hours of 12 and 6 AM cause about 76 percent of night time crashes.
Current Driving Laws for Ohio Teens
Ohio has strict laws for teen drivers. Teens must follow these laws or risk a license suspension, fines, and other penalties. Ohio enforces the following laws for teen drivers until the driver has been licensed for 12 months:
Drivers under the age of 18 are issued a provisionary license that restricts driving time, number of passengers, and electronic use inside a vehicle.
Teen drivers are not allowed to drive with more than one non-family passenger.
Teens are not allowed to drive between 12 and 6 AM unless the teen is driving to a school or work function. The Registrar of Motor Vehicles has a form, BMV 2825, that teens can use to verify their work hours during restricted periods. The documents must be carried with a teen at all times when she is operating the vehicle during restricted hours. Teens can drive during these hours with a legal guardian present in the vehicle.
Teen drivers are not allowed to use cell phones, text, or operate any other electronic device while the car is moving.
Any teen driver who is convicted of a moving violation within six months of receiving their license must be accompanied by a legal guardian for a six month period after the violation or until the teen turns 17.