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Roadblocks and stop signs

Looking into the lesser-known restrictions of a junior driver’s license

Sam Romutis, Staff Writer

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According to PennDOT (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation), vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 16 to 24-year-olds. In Pennsylvania, when people turn 16 years of age, they are eligible to take their permit test to learn how to drive. It is an 18 question electronic exam, and test takers must answer 15 correct questions, or 83 percent, in order to pass.

After a student passes, they have to wait six months in order to take their driver’s test. While on a learner’s permit, a student must always have a licensed driver in the car accompanying them, when behind the wheel. When the six-month period passes, the student schedules a test and the instructor judges them on their driving ability and, if they score well enough to legally drive without a parent or guardian, they receive their junior driver’s license.
A junior driver’s license gives someone the right to drive by themselves, but it does not give as many rights as a normal driver’s license. Here are a few restrictions that come with a Pennsylvania junior driver’s license as written by PennDOT:
A junior driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days if he or she gets six or more points or is convicted of a single high speed violation, which means driving 26 miles-per-hour over the speed limit.
A young driver with a junior driver’s license is not permitted to get behind the wheel between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. There are exceptions if the driver is employed or performing volunteer work, and young drivers always need to carry proper documentation as to why they need to travel late at night.
All passengers in the car, including the driver, must wear a seatbelt while riding with a junior driver.
Young drivers may not carry more than one passenger under the age of 18 who is not an immediate family member unless a parent or legal guardian is in the car with them. After the first six months of being on a junior driver’s license, the under-18 passenger limit is raised to three non-family members, and more are allowed if a parent or legal guardian is present in the car.
Any young driver who needs to loan their car to someone else for a specific reason must have permission from their parent or legal guardian and the owner of the car.
All other transportation laws are applicable to both a junior driver’s license and a regular driver’s license. Drinking and driving, especially when under age 18, can result in serious fines and even jail time. While operating a vehicle, make sure to always be aware of the surroundings and pay attention at all times. Always consider the gift of life while behind the wheel.

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Roadblocks and stop signs