Maryland’s Graduated Licensing System was created to help reduce the number of traffic accidents caused by young and inexperienced drivers.
Maryland has followed the lead of many other states in the country by adopting a phased approach to licensing new teenage drivers. The National Institute of Health explains that this trend began in the 1990’s and has now spread through all states and the District of Columbia.
The goal of these programs is to improve safety and cut the number of accidents that occurred due to the negligence and inexperience of young drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, such wrecks have been reduced by half. The NIH notes that fatalities in crashes involving teen drivers have also been cut significantly.
As teen drivers pass through the various steps or phases in a program, they are given more privileges until eventually they are allowed to drive restriction-free. The Governors Highway Safety Association indicates that there are generally three phases on the road to a fully unrestricted driver’s license for teens.
The first part of the process for a teenage driver in Maryland is to obtain a learner’s permit. During the permit phase, teens must meet the following criteria in order to apply for a provisional driver’s license:
A permit must be held for at least nine months. This time can be extended if any citations or violations are received by the teen driver.
Upon meeting the criteria listed above and reaching the age of 16 and one-half, a teen may apply for a provisional driver’s license. With this license, they can drive unsupervised but have some restrictions. For the first 151 days with a provisional license, the only allowable passengers under 18 can be relatives such as siblings.
After holding a provisional license for at least 18 months sans any violation and reaching the age of 18, teens may be granted unrestricted driving privileges.
Part of Maryland’s Graduated Licensing System bans any use of a mobile phone while operating a vehicle for anyone under the age of 18.
If a teenage driver does get into an accident, tending to any medical needs is always a priority. After that, victims should contact an attorney for help in obtaining compensation.