A new enjoyment while being a teenage is getting a license and driving for the first time, and having the freedom to go where they would like. Unfortunately for some teens, they take advantage of this privilege, resulting in tragic consequences. State and national statistics prove that this is true:
- Nationally and in Colorado, motor vehicle accidents are the foremost cause of death for teenagers.
- Nationally and in Colorado, 16-year-olds crash more than any other age group.
- Fatal crash rates among 16- to 19-year-olds is FOUR TIMES higher than that of older drivers.
- Driver death rates for 16- and 17-year-olds increases with each additional driver.
- Colorado teen drivers represent only six percent of licensed state drivers, yet account for 11 percent of all statewide traffic deaths.
The Graduated License Program Law
This law, which came into being in 1999, mandates how learner permits are designated and provides general rules for licensed drivers under 18.
- You can obtain a permit at 15 only if you enroll in a state-approved driver education program and complete the Affidavit of Completion of a Driver Education Classroom Course.
- You can apply for a permit at 15 1/2 only after completing a four-hour driver awareness course. You must also complete an Affidavit of Completion of a Driver Education Classroom Course.
- If you elect to forgo classes, you must wait until turning 16 to apply for a permit.
- If under 18, you must have a parent or legal guardian sign an Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship.
Under 18 With an Instruction Permit
Before applying for a license, you must:
- Hold your instruction permit for at least one year.
- Log 50 hours of supervised driving time, with 10 of those hours occurring at night. During this time, you can only be accompanied by a driving instructor, a parent or legal guardian, or an adult alternate permit supervisor approved by parent or legal guardian. All supervisors must hold a Colorado driver’s license.
Licensed Drivers Under 18
Minors MUST obey these rules.
- You cannot ride with any passenger under 21 until after six months of owning your license (siblings and passengers with medical emergencies are exempt).
- You cannot drive with more than one passenger under 21 until after holding your license for more than one year (siblings and passengers with medical emergencies are exempt).
- You cannot drive with more than one passenger sitting up front.
- You and your passengers must wear seat belts.
- You cannot drive between midnight and 5 a.m. until after holding your license for more than one year. Exceptions to this rule include work and school reasons, and if you’re accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Cell Phone Use
It is important to keep in mind that it is illegal to operate a cell phone in any manner when driving with a permit. The only exception to this is if you’re in an emergency situation.