The Junior Operator law in Massachusetts is getting attention. It is getting attention for a few reasons, one because it is very strict and two because the number of teen driving deaths in Massachusetts was lower in 2007 than in 2006.
According to the Registrar of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, Anne Collins, the intent of the new junior operator law was to reduce speeding and send a message that there is zero tolerance for teen speeding. The Registrar was interviewed by Magdalene Perez, a Staff Writer for the Hartford Courant because Connecticut is looking at the success of Massachusetts’ approach of keeping teen and other drivers safe on the road.
The Massachusetts law is harsh. There is no question about it. One speeding ticket and a junior operator is without his or her license for 90 days. It impacts the teen as well as parents. Parents can find themselves once again being a ‘car service’, because they must drive their teen to school, work, sports and other activities. It was also increase their insurance premiums (which are already high from the new driver). Hardship licenses are not easy to obtain in these circumstances. The only way to avoid a responsible finding on a driving record is to start fighting the ticket right away and request a hearing. The cost of appealing and even the cost of hiring an attorney is generally less than the cost to the family in surcharges, lost wages and time.
The law is tough – but there is very good news, fatal crashes in Massachusetts fell from 27 in 2006 to 17 last year. So maybe drivers are getting the message and the fear of being without the new found freedom that comes with a drivers license is causing young drivers to think twice before speeding.
If you or your child is a junior operator and has received a citation for speeding, hire an attorney to fight for you. I can be reached at 866-981-7888 or at send me an email.
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