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Monday, May 2, 2016

Curfew law would protect young drivers

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Emily McIntosh

Staff Writer

Act 309, sponsored by Sen. J. Jeffress, is a law passed by the state senate and has yet to be approved by Gov. Mike Beebe.

The act is "an act to improve the safety of roads and highways in the state by addressing issues related to the licensing of youthful drivers; to amend the law regarding restricted driver's licenses, learner's licenses and intermediate licenses; and for other purposes," according to the senate bill.

If passed, this new law would ban all drivers under 18 from using a cell phone or other wireless communications device while driving unless there is an emergency.

This law would also place a curfew on these drivers. Drivers who are under 18 would not be allowed to drive between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. unless it is work, school or emergency related, or they are accompanied by a licensed driver who is 21 or older. This law would also restrict the number of unrelated minor passengers to one in a vehicle with a driver who is under 18.

According to the Arkansas House, "Supporters of the bill say such a law will save the lives of a dozen or more teenagers a year and prevent injuries to many more, while opponents said it would be a hardship to youths and families in rural areas. Arkansas is sixth in the nation in the rate of car-wreck fatalities involving youth under 18."

Passage of this new law could relieve parents from worrying about their teenager's driving at night and getting home late. It could also save lives.

If the law were to be approved by the governor, Salem Police Chief Albert Roork explained how it would be enforced. "If we conduct a traffic stop at night, not because the driver is under a certain age (but for other reasons), while doing the stop we discern that person is under age we'd have to do something there," Roork said.

Though Roork said he doubts the law will pass because current driving laws are already being enforced, he said, "It will save some lives."

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Even if it is an emergency, they should pull over to use the phone. This should be for adults as well. Too many accidents are caused by distracted drivers.

-- Posted by Hem on Thu, Mar 19, 2009, at 1:28 PM

this law would be unfair to the responsible teens who obey the laws and who is to say how many passengers you have if they are buckled up . next there will be a curfew on all people. they should pull over to use the phones right, but to put all this on all kids is showing them even tho they do act responsible they will be limited in their freedom. there are some who need the curfews but it should be on a basis of them doing the wrong thing.

-- Posted by kaywhitley20002000 on Thu, Mar 19, 2009, at 9:29 PM

Insurance companies have discounts for 'goof proof' vehicles. Things such as automatic seat belts, air bags, etc. ANYONE can have an accident, no matter how skilled they are, there is always the unexpected. Whether it is an animal or another driver. A vehicle is a powerful instrument and it needs the FULL attention of the driver. People may think they can multitask while driving, but this has been PROVEN over and over that they truly can not do two things at once. Maybe they get by with it for a while, but then it happens an ACCIDENT. Hopefully they don't kill some innocent person, but some times they do. Wouldn't it be better if they simply considered someone else besides themselves? After all isn't the GOLDEN RULE 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'? Not only that, what did they do BEFORE cell phones? I DO NOT have a cell phone and DO NOT want one. It would seem to me that instead of insisting on someone's 'rights' as you call it, you considered the other person's rights. The right to drive on the highway without be slammed into by a distracted driver! And if your kid is so responsible, I wouldn't complain one bit when that ACCIDENT happens and then your kid is RESPONSIBLE for the damages.

-- Posted by Hem on Fri, Mar 20, 2009, at 3:59 AM

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