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Ohio May Change Driving Hour Requirements

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For most of us, getting our drivers license cannot come soon enough. But teens in Ohio may have to begin waiting a little longer for their freedom to come. Requirements for teen drivers in Ohio may be changing soon, thanks to House Bill 293.

The House Bill 293, backed by the Ohio Conference of AAA Clubs, Nationwide Insurance, Ohio PTA, Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and others, proposes to extend the temporary instruction permit phase to 12 months and delay issuance of the first license to 16 ½ years old.

The current instruction permit phase is six months.

The bill would also prohibit newly licensed teen drivers from driving without parental supervision between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. during the first six months of holding an Ohio drivers license. The law currently allows teens to drive unsupervised from between midnight to 6 a.m.

Finally, teenage applicants would be required to pay an additional application fee for drivers licenses and renewals. House Bill 293 proposes an additional $5 application fee for anyone under 21 (the current fees range from $2.25 to $7.25).

The bill was introduced in the fall of last year by Rep. Gary Scherer, R-Circleville, and Rep. Michael P. Sheehy, D-Oregon, and is co-sponsored by Rep. Hearcel F. Craig, D-Columbus. It must pass both houses of the Ohio legislature before December 2018 in order to become law.

House Bill 293 is meant to address the startling increase inyoung driver deaths. According to Robert Foss, emeritus director of the Center for the Study of Young Drivers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, there is a dramatic drop off in crashes after the first 12 months of a driver being licensed.

Krista Doyle