CHART: New Law For First-Time Drivers - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

CHART: New Law For First-Time Drivers

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BATON ROUGE, La. A bill passed in this spring's legislative session will usher in sweeping new changes to Louisiana's driver licensing law.

The new law, which takes effect Aug. 1, mandates an increased number of classroom training hours and behind-the-wheel driving instruction for first-time applicants.

"Far too often in law enforcement, we see the tragic consequences of crashes involving teens. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States,' said Col. Mike Edmonson, deputy secretary of the Department of Public Safety. "Additionally, teens are four times more likely to crash than older drivers. We must ensure that our teenagers are prepared to take on the tremendous responsibility of safely operating a motor vehicle."

The Senate Bill 667, sponsored by Sen. Gary Smith, requires those age 17 to attend a 38- hour driver education course, compared to the previous requirement of a six-hour pre-licensing course. 

The new law will also impact new applicants ages 18 and older by now requiring eight hours of behind-the-wheel driving instruction, in addition to the six hours of classroom instruction. 

"I believe this change will produce safer drivers, reduce accidents and save lives. It is also a step toward stabilizing and maybe even reducing automobile insurance rates," Smith said.

"We have an obligation to ensure that we license individuals who are ready to assume the responsibility of operating motor vehicles on the highways of our state.  Training is a key component of their readiness," said Office of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Steve Campbell.

Residents who are currently holding a six-hour, pre-licensing certificate must apply before Aug. 1 or they will have to comply with the new requirements.

For more information, call the Office of Motor Vehicles at 225-922-1664, visit www.expresslane.org and the driving school website at http://omv.dps.state.la.us/CDL%20Forms/certifiedDrivingSchoolLists.asp

Here's the new drivers information chart:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Age

Current

Classroom Hours

Required

Current

Behind the Wheel Hours

Required

Effective Aug. 1

Classroom Hours

Required

Effective Aug. 1

Behind the Wheel Hours

Required

15*

30

8

30

8

16

30

8

30

8

17

6

0

30

8

18 and older

6

0

6

8

*Can begin classroom hours at 14 years and 9-months-old and in the 9th grade (at a minimum).

 

 

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