New teen driver laws in Connecticut

July 23, 2008 8:22:59 PM PDT
Connecticut is about to start cracking down on teenager drivers. Starting August 1, teenagers will have their licenses immediately suspended if they're caught breaking the rules, like curfew violations and having too many passengers in the car. Ryan Goldrich is not happy about the new restrictions, including having to wait an entire year before driving with friends in the car. But car accidents are the number one cause of deaths among teens, so Connecticut officials are doing something about it.

The nation's first law suspending a young driver's license will go into effect next month if a teen is caught speeding, driving recklessly, street racing, talking on a cell phone or text messaging.

Besides stiffer penalties, the state is imposing new license requirements for teens and their parents. Every new teen driver will have to take a class, and a parent will have to participate in at least two hours of it, as well.

"I think it's silly," parent Sean Goldrich said. "I've never had a traffic ticket, no moving violation in my life or an accident in over 35 years. That doesn't make a lot of sense."

Officials hope the new rules will equip young drivers with more skills and better judgement.

Teen drivers will also now have to log 40 hours of behind-the-wheel training instead of the current 20 hours.


STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Thalia Patillo