Teenage drivers are involved in more car collisions and tend to make more judgment errors than other age groups, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
On Friday, a Stockton 18-year-old woman was booked in the Merced County Jail for driving under the influence and causing a deadly crash that unfortunately killed her 14-year-old sister and severely injured another teen in the car, which was seen on the driver's Instagram Live story.
For parents, this type of incident is always a disconcerting issue and has posed many questions from you about teenage driver laws in California, so ABC10 looked into it.
Teenagers or "minors" under 18 years old, if they want to drive, can be issued a a provisional license and an instruction permit, but must follow the provisional rules.
Those rules include obeying traffic laws without getting into a crash and during the first 12 months, after being licensed, they're not allowed to drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Also in that span, they are not supposed to transport any passengers under 20 years old without a parent or guardian, a licensed driver who's 25 years old or older or a licensed driving instructor.
"Teens may engage in risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, running red and yellow lights, running stop signs, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and misjudging the capability of their vehicles," according to the DMV.
It's illegal for minors, in any way, to talk or use a cell phone or other mobile devices when driving. The first offense is a $20 fine along with administrative court fees and the second or following offenses are $50, plus court fees.
All of the aforementioned rules can assist in protecting a teen driver, their family members, friends and others who may potentially be inside the car with them.
Other California driver related laws, like the appropriate use of backseat seat belts, are helpful, too.
Wearing properly functioning seat belts is the law and it's inescapable unless you or passengers want to be cited.
All children under 8 years old must be in a federally approved child safety seat that's restrained using a seat belt in the back seat of a car.
The only way riding in the back seat is not allowed is if:
- There is no back seat.
- The back seats are side-facing.
- The back seats are rear-facing seats.
- A child safety seat cannot be installed properly in the back.
- All back seats are already occupied by children 7 years old or younger.
- Medical reasons require the child to not ride in the back seat.
- On January 1, 2017, children under 2 years old must now use a rear-facing child safety seat, unless they weigh at least 40 pounds or measure at least 40 inches tall.
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