New bill could force teens off the road at 10 p.m.

Posted at 11:48 AM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 12:37:09-05

Lawmakers will hear testimony on a bill that would force teen drivers off the road at 10 p.m.

Maryland’s current graduated driver licensing laws--designed to slowly introduce new drivers to the roadways--prohibit teens from being behind the wheel after midnight.

Law enforcement, AAA and other driver safety advocate groups say the two-hour time change is necessary, citing evidence that more teens are killed in crashes earlier at night.

In 2015, teen driver deaths increased by 75 percent in Maryland, and teen driver-involved fatalities went up by 26 percent, according to the Maryland Highway Safety Office.

"Studies have shown that nighttime driving restrictions, beginning at 10:00 p.m. or earlier, reduce crashes among young, novice drivers,” Ragina Cooper Averella, public and government affairs manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said in a news release.

Averella went on to say a poll conducted by AAA Mid-Atlantic found that "77 percent of Maryland motorists surveyed indicated that they would support legislation to prohibit young drivers, 18 years old or younger, from driving after 10:00 p.m."

The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday.

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