Connecticut places a high penalty on 16 and 17 year old drivers for violations of teen driving restrictions. These restrictions have been put in place specifically to protect teens and other drivers from teenage inexperience with driving. Teen driving violations include speeding, reckless driving, street racing, and using a cell phone while driving. There are mandatory DMV suspensions for 16 and 17 year old drivers who violate these restrictions. Be sure to learn about these violations if you have a teenager driver, or are getting ready to introduce your teenager to driving.
Using a Cell Phone
First, using a cell phone or texting while driving carries a 30-day license suspension, a license restoration fee, and court fines for the first offense. For a second offense, there is a 90-day license suspension, with fees and fines. For a third offense, there is a six-month license suspension, with fees and fines. It is against the law for 16 and 17 year old drivers to use a cell phone or text with a phone, regardless of whether the cell phone is hands-free or mounted.
Second, speeding more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit is a teen driving restriction. A first offense carries a 60-day suspension of the license, including a license restoration fee and court fines. A second offense will result in a 90-day suspension with fees and fines. A third offense will result in a six-month license suspension with fees and fines. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in 15-19 year old teenagers. Teenagers’ brains are not fully developed and they are unable to assess risk and danger as well as adults. Therefore, teenagers who are speeding will be less likely to understand the risks of going 90 miles per hour rather than 60. It is important to remind teenage drivers to watch the posted speed limit and and to watch their own speed on the speedometer while driving.
Third, reckless driving is a more serious violation that will result in a six-month license suspension with a license restoration fee and court fines after the first offense. The second offense will result in a one-year suspension, fees, and either fines or imprisonment for a year or less, or both fines and imprisonment. A third offense will result in the same penalties. It is important that parents of 16 and 17 year old drivers be careful about letting their teenagers drive.
Lastly, street racing results in a six-month suspension of the driver’s license with a license restoration fee, and court fines or imprisonment for a year or less, or both for a first offense. A second offense can result in a one-year license suspension and fees and fines or imprisonment, or both. A third offense carries the same penalties. Again, accidents are much more likely to occur when a teenager has passengers in the car with them. Street racing is largely a consequence of peer pressure from friends. It is important that parents know where their teenager is driving, and who they are going to be driving. Providing your teenage driver with a vehicle that has improved safety technology and a car that is not a high-performance vehicle may reduce the desire to engage in street racing.
Helping Your Teen
For parents with 16 and 17 year old drivers, these restrictions are important to be aware of, and make your teenager aware of before getting behind the wheel. If teenagers know the dangers of violating these restrictions, the chances of car accidents, and the mandatory license suspensions, it will deter them from engaging in these accident-prone activities while driving.
If your 16 or 17 year old driver has received one of these traffic tickets, contact us to speak with someone who can answer your questions and give you guidance on what to do.