If you are the parent of a teenage driver, you understand how difficult it can be to turn your teenager loose behind the wheel of a car. With traffic accidents being one the leading causes of death for young people ages 15 to 20, it is vital that we help our teenagers gain experience behind the wheel of a vehicle before we allow them to drive without restrictions. Lack of experience and the tendency to take risks are major factors in why car accident and injury rates are high for teenage drivers.
Illinois lawmakers wanted to do something about the number of accidents involving teen drivers and make it safer for teen drivers on our roads. Therefore, they passed laws instituting a Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) that allows teens to gain the driving experience they need to be safe drivers before receiving a full driver’s license. While the Graduated Driver’s License program does help teenagers gain valuable driving experience before receiving a full license, it also carries stiff penalties for teen drivers who receive speeding tickets while they have a GDL.
How Does the Graduated Driver’s License Program Work?
There are three phases in the Graduated Driver’s License program. The Permit Phase allows teenagers to obtain an instructional permit at the age of 15 with parental consent. The teenager must be enrolled in a driver education course, pass a vision test, and pass a written test. The permit must be held for a minimum of nine months.
The Initial Licensing Phase is for teenagers aged 16 and 17 and requires parental consent. The teen must have successfully completed a state-approved driver education course and the parent must certify that the parent or another licensed driver aged 21 or older participated in a minimum of 50 hours of instructional driving with the teen including 10 hours driving at night. Teens can apply for the Full Licensing Phase at age 18 but the restrictions contained in this phase applies to drivers between 18 and 20.
Each phase of the Graduated Driver’s License program has restrictions and sanctions that are applicable to that specific phase. For example, nighttime driving and the number of passengers allowed in the vehicle are limited. Each phase also has requirements regarding convictions and sanctions for moving violations.
Speeding Tickets and the Graduated Driver’s License
The restrictions and requirements on teen drivers are strict; however, they are designed to reduce the risk of accidents for teen drivers to keep them and others safe. In addition to restrictions on cell phone use, the number of passengers permitted in the vehicle, and nighttime driving, teenage drivers face severe penalties if they are convicted of a traffic offense. Penalties include:
- Court appearances
- Traffic safety school
- Extension of passenger restrictions
- Suspension of nighttime driving privileges
- Suspended driver’s license
- Remedial education course
- Reinstatement fee
A speeding ticket during the nine-month Permit Phase will keep your teen driver from moving to the next GDL phase. Just one speeding ticket will result in a nine-month waiting period before your teen can apply for a driver’s license. A speeding ticket during the Initial Licensing Phase results in a six-month extension of the passenger limitation and could result in driving restrictions extending beyond the age of 18.
It is our desire that teens remain safe on our roadways; however, we do understand that there are times when teenage drivers will receive a traffic ticket. If your teen driver is facing sanctions under the Graduated Driver’s License program for a speeding ticket or other moving violation, we can help. Our attorneys have experience defending teen driving privileges during all phases of the GDL program. Contact our office to discuss your options for defending a violation of the GDL restrictions or a moving violation.
Contact Our Office for a Consultation with an Experienced Illinois Traffic Attorney
The attorneys of Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols represent individuals who need experienced traffic attorneys. We assist clients throughout McLean, Woodford, Tazewell, and Peoria counties by providing compassionate, competent legal services. Contact our office at 309-938-4838 for a free consultation.
When you need the assistance of an experienced traffic lawyer in Central Illinois, call the knowledgeable and skilled attorneys of Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols. We are dedicated to giving our clients exceptional service and support.