Keeping Your Teen Safe on the Road
Operating a vehicle is a skill that requires mental, visual and manual focus, all at the same time. Experienced drivers are less likely to get in an accident that those who have spent less time behind the wheel. In fact, more teens between the ages of 16 and 20 are killed each year from car accidents than anything else. The frequency of teen fatalities caused lawmakers to consider ways to prevent this tragedy from occurring.
Graduated Driver's License Program
In an effort to keep teen drivers safe on South Carolina’s roads, the state has instituted the Graduated Driver’s License program. This law is designed to prevent the deaths that have become so common among teen drivers. Here are the phases of the GDL program.
- Learner’s permit: When a teen turns 15 years old, they are eligible to hold a learner’s permit. With this permit, teens are allowed to drive when accompanied by another license driver who has held a full license for over one year and is over the age of 21. This permit does not allow teens to drive between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m.
- Provisional license: After a teen is 15 years and 180 days old, has held a learner’s permit for 180 days and has completed 40 hours of supervised driving (with 10 of those being at night), he or she is allowed to apply for a provisional license. This license allows teens to drive without supervising drivers between the hours 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. as long as there are no more than 2 passengers under 21 in the vehicle. There are a few exceptions to this rule, including the fact that teens with a provisional license can drive at night if a licensed parent or guardian is with them or if they are transporting family members or giving students a ride to school.
- Special Restricted License or Unrestricted License (with conditional license): Once teen’s turn 16 and have had a provisional license for 1 year, they can then apply for an unrestricted license with conditions. Drivers with this license will still be held to restricted driving times unless they obtain a Special Restricted License by proving driving need for work or school.
- Regular Driver’s License: At age 17, teens can be approved for a regular license if they have held a learner’s permit for 180 days and completed a driver’s education course.
Did your teen driver receive a traffic ticket?
Since these laws were instituted, a significant drop in fatalities involving teen drivers has been noted. If you have a teen driver who was involved in an accident or received a South Carolina traffic ticket, our experienced SC traffic violations lawyers are here to help. Contact Us today for a free consultation on your teen driver's citation and how our law firm can help.