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Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Tough New Drowsy Driving Law Passed in Massachusetts
In his first act of the new year, departing Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney signed the "Driver Education and Junior Operator's Licenses" into law on January 3, 2007. It's a bill that requires increased driver instruction for teenage drivers and calls for the establishing of a special commission to examine the problem of drowsy driving.
Under the new mandate, teens are required to spend 40 hours driving with a parent or adult, compared to just 12 hours under present law, and log 12 hours of actual behind-the-wheel training, instead of the six hours of behind-the-wheel training required under present law.
The special commission on drowsy driving will be established to thoroughly consider the effect of driving while drowsy on highway safety and the consequences of sleep deprivation on drivers. Studies indicate that teen drivers are at greater risk for fatigue-related collisions. Moreover, drowsy driving is linked with impaired performance that is equivalent to driving while legally drunk.
Driver education helps increase driving safety awareness and ensures the well being of American drivers. The National Safety Commission recommends The Driver Education Handbook for Parents as a valuable teaching tool for parents who are concerned with their teen's driving safety and understand the value of quality instruction.