Getting tough on young teen drivers

Apr 13, 2010, 1:17 PM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

A new PEMCO insurance poll that finds most Washington drivers want tougher penalties for teen drivers who violate the law while they’re still learning how to drive.

teendriverI’m being forced to learn about teen driving laws because I have an almost 15-year-old who wants to learn how to drive this summer.

A 2001 law makes it illegal for newly-licensed teens to drive with passengers under 20 years old who are not immediate family members. They can’t drive unaccompanied between 1:00 and 5:00 in the morning. State law also requires parents to accompany their teens for 50 hours of practice driving, including 10 hours at night, before teens can get their driver license. These rules make up the state’s intermediate license law.

A PEMCO poll released today shows that 51 percent of licensed drivers believe that any violation of these teen driving laws should be strengthened from a secondary to a primary offense.

This study shows most parents enforce teen driving laws. Really? That wasn’t my experience a few years ago when a 15-year-old driver named Whitney slammed into the back of my parked mini-van. The teen was driving with four others in her car, music blaring, luckily everyone was okay. A few hours later I got a call from her mom who begged me not to report the accident. She was worried about their insurance rates going up “again,” she said.

When PEMCO asked drivers if intermediate license laws are enforced in their own households, 84 percent of parents said yes. And three out of four parents have their own driving rules on top of the state law. I’m curious about the parent-imposed laws. Please share any rules you made up for your teen drivers.

PEMCO is also promoting their interactive teen driving website which looks helpful, though I can’t imagine most teens sitting down to look at statistics and tips they should know before they hit the road.

An article in the Yakima Herald a couple of months ago found fewer young people are getting their drivers license’s now compared to a few years ago. Nationally, only 31 percent of 16-year-olds got their licenses in 2008, compared with 45 percent in 1988. One reason could be the expense. It costs up to $600 for teen driver education. Wow. I am not ready for this.

The News Chick Blog

The wife of Seattle attorney Danford Grant moved his car away from one of the alleged crime scenes ...
No Author

Equal justice for Seattle lawyer accused of several rapes?

Has accused serial rapist Danford Grant gotten preferential treatment because both he and his wife are Seattle attorneys?
10 years ago
The Seattle-based I Can Has Cheezburger network now includes 60 humor sites. Many of their 90 emplo...
No Author

Seattle humor network, built with funny cat pictures, becomes a reality TV show

A small Internet empire with a funny name has billions of page views on its network of 60 humor websites based in Seattle. Now, I Can Has Cheezburger has a reality TV show too.
10 years ago
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent a combined $30.33 every second this election cycle. Wa...
No Author

Democracy and dollar signs – 2012 campaign spending

Washington initiative campaigns spent $34 million trying to win your vote, while President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent a combined $30.33 every second this election cycle.
10 years ago
Chef Tom Douglas says Seattle’s restaurants are ‘a little homemade’ compared with...
No Author

Chef Tom Douglas says ‘Seattle is a funny restaurant town’

Chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas, with 13 Seattle restaurants and more on the way, says Seattle is a "funny restaurant town."
10 years ago
Investigation continues into why a commander of the Bremerton-based Stennis carrier group was remov...
No Author

New ‘crazy’ conspiracy theory on Stennis Rear Admiral

The Pentagon shoots down theories about why the commander of the USS Stennis Carrier Group was removed from duty and sent back to the homeport in Bremerton.
10 years ago
Seattle photographer Paul Souders captures an adult polar bear up close in Hudson Bay in Churchill,...
No Author

Seattle photographer comes face to face with a polar bear

A wildlife photographer, who lives in Ballard, has taken thousands of stunning shots. None put him on "a razor's edge" more than a series of photos swimming with a polar bear.
10 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Getting tough on young teen drivers