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Young Californians Won't Get New Driving Restrictions

Neil Kremer / Flickr
 

Neil Kremer / Flickr

Young Californians won’t see new driving restrictions, at least not in the near future.

That’s because Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed AB 63, a bill that would have imposed a curfew on drivers under 21 for the first year after their license is issued.

Drivers under 18 are already prohibited from driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. during their first year. There are exemptions for work and school.

Ryan Prasad, 23, a senior at Sacramento State University, said extending those limits could hurt families.

“I’ve been driving my family, my brother, my sisters around since I was 18. There are people in that situation. And if they weren’t able to drive, everything would have broken down,” Prasad said.

Other young drivers on campus, such as Trieu Nguyen, 20, asked how the law would have been enforced.

“I don’t think there’s a way to check them. I mean, how are you going to check them? (Are) you going to stop everybody and ask their age and stuff? I don’t think it’s necessary.”

Police and public health groups supported the legislation, saying it would save lives and ensure young drivers are better prepared.

The bill was sponsored by groups including the California Association of Highway Patrolmen and the California Association for Children's Safety and Health, among others.

In addition to the curfew, the bill would have blocked drivers under 21 from transporting anyone under 20 without supervision in the first year of having their license.

Brown said in his veto message that lawmakers should focus on teen driver training instead of extending restrictions.

“Eighteen-year-olds are eligible to enlist in the military, vote in national, state and local elections, enter into contracts and buy their own car,” Brown wrote in the message. “I believe adults should not be subject to the same driving restrictions presently applied to minors.”

 

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