What is a Passenger Restriction?
As a Junior Operator, your child may not operate a motor vehicle within the first six (6) months after receiving a Junior Operator’s License (JOL) while any passenger under the age of 18 is in the vehicle (other than the Operator or an immediate family member [siblings]), unless the Junior Operator is accompanied by a person who is at least 21 years old . . .
- who has at least one year of driving experience, and
- holds a valid driver’s license from Massachusetts or another state, and
- is occupying a seat beside the Junior Operator.
The purpose of the restriction is to provide an opportunity to develop good driving skills free from possible distractions from peers.
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Why a Passenger Restriction?
In March 2000, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported on a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore.
The study concluded that teenage drivers are more likely to be killed in an accident if there are teenagers or young adult passengers with them. A 16 year old driver with one passenger is 39% more likely to die in an accident than when driving alone. It increases to 86% when two passengers are present and soars to 182% with three or more passengers!
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Legal Penalties for a Violation:
A Junior Operator who violates the passenger restriction is subject to a license suspension of:
- 30 days for a first offense
- 60 days for a second offense
- 90 days for a subsequent offense
The passenger restriction will be put on hold while the Junior Operator’s license is suspended. It will resume when the suspension period has been completed.