ACIC Backs Calif. Graduated Driver’s License Bill

June 9, 2005

Legislation supported by the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC) to extend restrictions placed on graduated drivers licenses won the approval of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.

The bill, AB 1474 by Assemblyman Bill Maze (R-Visalia), was approved on a 10-3 committee vote and will be considered next by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“California’s existing graduated driver’s license program has been successful in reducing crashes, injuries and death,” said ACIC President Sam Sorich. “ACIC supports AB 1474’s focus on two areas where there is a potential for improving the program results even more.”

The bill would extend from six months to one year when graduated driver’s licensees are prohibited from transporting individuals under the age of 20 unless the driver is accompanied by a guardian or parent or a licensed driver 25 or older.

In addition, AB 1474 would expand the restriction on driving between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. The graduated license holder could drive between those hours if accompanied by a parent or guardian or a licensed driver 25 or older.

California’s existing program, enacted in 1997, allows for the issuance of a graduated driver’s license to young drivers between the ages of 16 and 18.

Sorich noted that a recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study found vehicle deaths involving 16-year-old drivers decreased 30 percent between 1993 and 2003, during which 46 states – including California — enacted graduated drivers license programs.

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