Oklahoma drivers with an intermediate Class D license will be restricted to a curfew of 10 p.m. under recently signed legislation. The new law goes into effect Nov. 1.
The law – House Bill 1599 – also extends the amount of driving training for parent-taught drivers from 40 to 50 hours.
“This law ensures that young drivers will have a greater degree of comfort behind the wheel before earning full driving privileges,” said bill co-sponsor Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa. “A more gradual introduction of driving privileges can greatly decrease risks and make our roadways safer.”
According to state Senate spokesman Matt Glanville, “The intermediate Class D license is issued to teens for their first six months of licensed driving after they have had their learner’s permit. If
they have no convictions in that period, they get their unrestricted license.”
The new law will allow intermediate Class D license holders to drive after 10 p.m. only if they are accompanied by an adult over the age of 21 or are on their way home from work, school or church, according to officials.
Newberry said the legislation was motivated by figures showing that states with nighttime driving restrictions show crash reductions of 40 to 60 percent during restricted driving hours. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teens have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age.
“Under this law, we can provide teens with a safer driving experience while they learn to drive,” Newberry said. “The first year is the most dangerous for young drivers, and risk figures are even greater after 10 p.m. This law will help instill the importance of caution, helping teens become safer drivers for life.”