Protecting Teen Drivers From Car Accidents in Missouri

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by | Aug 11, 2016 | Horn Law News

The purpose of this article is to alert parents to the special restrictions under Missouri law that apply to their teen drivers.

It may surprise some parents to learn that a 16 year old is not entitled to full driving privileges. Instead, drivers between the ages of 16-18 are subject to Missouri’s Graduated Driver License Law. The purpose of the law is to protect young, inexperienced drivers from the types of collisions that cause serious injury and traffic fatalities.

It is important to know that when teen drivers between the ages of 16-18 are first licensed to drive in Missouri, they receive an “Intermediate License”. Discussed below are the two 2 types of special restrictions that are applicable to a teen with an Intermediate License.

Passenger Restrictions

During the first 6 months after the Intermediate License is issued, a teen driver can only have 1 passenger who is under age 19 and not a member of the immediate family. For instance, it is illegal for an Intermediate Licensed (hereinafter “IDL”) driver to drive 2 classmates to school within the first 6 months of being licensed.

After the first 6 months of driving experience, an IDL can have no more than 3 passengers who are under 19 and who are not members of the teen driver’s immediate family.

This restriction makes good sense in that passenger distractions considerably heighten the risks of dangerous driving.

Driving Curfew

An IDL can not drive alone from 1:00am to 5:00am except to a job, school function, or an emergency, unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is 21 or over. Notice, that the driving curfew restriction applies to the IDL even after the first 6 months of driving experience

This restriction is pretty obvious in its purpose. The risks get much higher this late at night.

Parent Enforcement

Because it is very difficult for police officers and other law enforcement to enforce Missouri’s GDL law, the law was constructed with the idea that parents will be the “chief enforcers” of the law. This interpretation of the law makes good sense because parents are in the best position to protect their children.

One more point that relates to the protection of your child when they are a passenger of an IDL. Make sure that your child’s IDL driver is adhering to these restrictions. It is all about saving lives.