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Legislature OKs 14-month delay for teen-parent driving logs rule

Picture used courtesy of The Safe Driver (http://safedriving.files.wordpress.com)

(Story provided courtesy of the Crosstown Traffic blog fromthe News and Observer)
The General Assembly this morning approved a 14-month delay in the effective date for signed driving logs -- documenting that parents were in the front seat to supervise 60 hours of driving -- that will be required before 16- or 17-year-olds can get their driver's licenses.

Parents and teens needed more time to comply -- and DMV needed more time, too.

This changes a law, enacted in June, that added several tough new provisions to North Carolina's graduated licensing program.

Parents or other supervising adult drivers must sign the logs to show that they supervised 60 hours of driving, spread out over at least six weeks. The original legislation said the logs would be added to the requirements for any provisional driver's license issued after Oct. 1. Teens at least 16 years old, who have had limited learner's permits for at least a year, are eligible for provisional licenses.

The rewritten language, approved today, says the 60-hour logs will be required for any teen 15 or older who receives a limited learner's permit after Jan. 1. That means it will apply to provisional licenses issued after Jan. 1, 2013.

The new language was approved without debate by the House and Senate this morning, as part of a technical corrections bill that addressed several unrelated issues. It will be sent to Gov. Bev Perdue for her signature.

Parents protested that the original language would have unfairly penalized teens who have their learner's permits now, are expecting to get their licenses after Oct. 1, and have never been told about the log requirements. DMV needed more time to develop a form for the log -- now promised in the next few weeks -- and to train its employees to implement the new requirements.

Other provisions in the new graduating licensing law will:

  • Require logs documenting an additional 12 hours of supervised driving for a teen moving up from limited provisional license to full provisional license. This takes effect for limited provisional licenses issued after Jan. 1
  • Provide for immediate 30-day revocation of the provisional license for teens charged with criminal moving violations, starting with violations that take place after Jan. 1.

"If they're not going to fear death, maybe they'll fear the suspension of their license," said Sen. David Rouzer of Benson, the bill's sponsor.

Bruce Siceloff reports on traffic and transportation. A News & Observer reporter and editor since 1976, he took over the Road Worrier column in 2003. Lately he drives I-40 with the cruise control set at 68 mph. You can e-mail Bruce, call him at 919-829-4527, or follow him (@Road_Worrier) on Twitter.

Written by: Bruce Siceloff, News and Observer Reporter
Posted: Sep 23, 2011 by Michele Schellhorn

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