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Fewer fatalities, more tickets with driver log

Tuesday, April 15, 2014by  Jon Osterberg

At first glance, it's baffling: a teen-driver law that coincides with fewer highway deaths, but more moving violations.
   North Carolina passed a law in 2011 requiring beginning drivers to fill out a log confirming that adults rode with them while they drove. Teens under age 18 need 72 hours of supervised driving to earn an unrestricted license in North Carolina.
   The state's Division of Motor Vehicles studied teen fatalities, which dropped from 183 to 114 over the past three years, and found that injuries also dropped during that time.
   Yet that same North Carolina report found that the number of moving violations increased between 2009 and 2013.
   Those trends seem to be at odds, until a closer look reveals that the majority of those teens who got tickets were driving without adult supervision.
   The DMV report said that "a greater focus should be placed on highway regulations in driver education programs."
   Washington, Oregon, and Idaho all require a minimum of 50 hours of supervised driving during the learner stage (under age 18).

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