According to the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner in 1997, five thousand six hundred ninety-seven (5,697) teens died in the United States due to motor vehicle car crashes. Thirty-six percent of all deaths of 16-19 year-olds out of all causes were related to motor vehicle accidents. In an effort to protect teens from the serious injuries that can result from car accidents, the legislature has enacted new laws concerning teenage drivers.
The Department of Motor Vehicles requires that under the new law, level 2 (intermediate) drivers may only drive unsupervised (by a licensed adult age 21 or older) between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Under the old law the unsupervised time extended up to 11:00 p.m.
Under level 2 (intermediate) drivers may not have any unrelated passengers under the age of 20 for the first six months after they pass the Road Skills test and are limited to only one unrelated passenger under the age of 20 for the next six months.
The current law prohibiting Level 1 (instruction permit) and Level 2 (intermediate) licensed holders from using any handheld cell phone or text messaging device. These law can be enforced as a primary offense meaning law enforcement can stop and ticket a teen driver without an accompanying violation to justify the stop.
The number of hours of certified driving experience is now 50 hours, 10 of which must be at night. This is a requirement to be eligible to take the Road Skills test for moving up to the Level 2 (intermediate) driver’s license.
In order to know the new requirements, all new drivers need to contact their local DMV and obtain copies of the new requirements for teenage drivers.