As the Graduated drivers license system settles firmly in the population’s mind, more and more states opt for a stricter licensing procedure for teenagers. Statistics show that the graduated drivers license (GDL) system significantly reduces the number of accidents that involve teens. Today, it is Kansas that presents a bill with the improvements to the system in the Legislature.
The bill holds two effective improvements: an increased period of the supervised driving and a limit to the number of the underage passengers a GDL license holder can transport.
At the moment, Kansas teens who want to achieve a drivers license are required to hold their learners permit for a minimum of 6 months. Although this is a significant period of time, it is still considered to be not enough by many and thus it may be extended to 12 months. The period of 12 months between the written permit examination and the road test should be sufficient to allow teens to gain enough driving experience before being allowed to drive on their own.
The second improvement is the passenger restriction that is also extended to 12 months. As per GDL restrictions in most states, the intermediate drivers license holder is not allowed to carry more than a certain number of peers unless supervised by a parent. The number of allowed passengers varies between states but is mainly limited to one.
Although such limitations are proven to work, they bring up a number of concerns. Such restrictions may be good for large cities, where there is public transportation available. However, teens who live in rural areas actively depend on car pools for getting to and from work and about their everyday activities.