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Graduated Drivers Licensing

    Brady-Jared Teen Driver Safety Act of 1997

    The City of Irvine has experienced growth in business, corporate and residential population over the last 25 years and with the influx of drivers in the city, especially during business hours, our roadways have been impacted with the highest amount of traffic volume then any other time in the city’s history.Statistically, there is a direct correlation with the number of vehicles on the roadway and the number of collisions.

    Because teens are so highly over-represented in traffic collisions the California State Legislator has enacted a law to increase driver safety, especially among our youth. It is called Graduated driver licensing (GDL) and it attempts to ease beginning drivers into the complexity of operating a motor vehicle by limiting their exposure to driving situations proven to be particularly dangerous. Teens begin driving with certain conditions, which are gradually relaxed as drivers mature and develop greater driving skills.The following page lists the Graduated Driver Licensing requirements.It lists the 3 stages a new licensed driver under the age of 18 must meet prior to advancing to the next stage.

    Beginning in July 1998, all teens under the age of 18 applying for an instruction permit must progress through a three-stage system to obtain a driver license.

    Stage 1 - To obtain a permit, you must:

    • Be at least 15 years old, but under the age of 18.
    • Complete a DMV application form, signed by parents or guardians.
    • Have completed a driver education course, or be enrolled in driver education and training (not required if 17 1/2 or older.
    • Pass the DMV traffic law, road sign, and vision tests.
    • Pay the $15 application fee.
      Once a permit is obtained, you must:
    • Hold the instruction permit for at least six months.
    • Drive with a parent, guardian, spouse, or adult 25 or older, with a licensed professional instructor, who has a valid California driver license.
    • Complete 50 hours of supervised driving, including 10 hours at night. A parent or guardian must certify in writing that these hours have been completed.
    • Complete both driver education and training.
    • Maintain a clean driving record.
    • Not drink and drive. Even a .01% concentration of alcohol in your bloodstream (less than one drink) will result in a one-year license suspension for driver under 21.
    Stage 2 - To obtain a provisional driver license, you must:
    • Complete Stage 1.
    • Be at least 16 years old, but less than 18.
    • Pass a behind the wheel driving test.
      Once your provisional license is issued, the following conditions apply:
    • For the first 6 months (or until you turn 18), no passengers under the age 20 allowed unless a licensed driver age 25 or older is present. Exceptions made for family need, not mere convenience, such as taking younger siblings to school where other alternatives are unavailable. *(Refer to bottom of this page for specifics regarding the exceptions)*
    • For the first 12 months (or until you turn 18), no driving permitted between midnight and 5:00 AM, unless accompanied by a licensed driver age 25 or older. Exceptions permitted for school, employment, family and medical need (if accompanied by statement from appropriate person.Violation of passenger or nighttime driving restrictions results in either court-ordered community service or a fine.
    • A teen driver must be stopped for another violation such as speeding or no seatbelt, before a ticket is written for violating the conditions above.

    Maintain a clean driving record. One citation or at-fault crash within 12 months results in DMV warning. Two or more result in license restrictions and suspensions.

    Stage 3 - A provisional license becomes a full license when you:

    • Become 18 years old.
    • Have no outstanding DMV or court-ordered restrictions, suspensions or probation.

    (EXCEPTIONS AND THEIR REQUIREMENTS): As per the California Vehicle Code

    Why target only young people? Why not target all novice drivers?

    California's new graduated driver licensing system deals with the biggest problems facing teen drivers. Clearly, too many people are killed or injured in cars driven by teens. Without changes, the situation will grow worse. According to the NTSB, Projections show California's teen population growing by a third over the next 10 years. Motor vehicle crash injuries are the leading cause of death among those aged 15 to 19 years, and 16-year-old drivers have more fatal crashes per 100 million miles than any other age group.2 Having all young drivers obtain their initial driving experiences under lower risk conditions is a fair and sensible public GRAPHhealth measure. The slower progress to an outright license is also intended to increase the maturity and development of novice drivers. Disproportionately beginning drivers (age 16) have higher crash rates than any other age, including older teenagers.By monitoring, mentoring and supervising beginning drivers, we can develop mature and responsible driving habits for teenage drivers.The Irvine Police Department is committed in educating and enforcing 12814.6 VC§ in an attempt to reduce the growing number of teenage traffic collisions.