Key Massachusetts lawmakers reached an agreement yesterday on legislation to prevent crashes involving teen drivers by dramatically boosting training requirements and stiffening the penalties for reckless behavior, reports the Boston Globe. After a rash of fatal wrecks involving young drivers and years of political wrangling, legislative leaders plan to send the bill to Governor Mitt Romney tomorrow.
A driver with a learner’s permit would have to spend at least 40 hours driving with a parent or other adult with a driver’s licenser, up from the current 12 hours, before the teen could get a junior operator’s license. “We actually put teeth into the law,” said Sen. Steven Baddour. “Kids will no longer know they will have two or thee bites at the apple. They will have one bite at the apple and there will be severe penalties.” Legislators toughened teen driving laws after a series of highly publicized fatal accidents.