Drivers under the age of 18 are more likely than any other age group to be involved in a traffic accident during their first year of driving. To combat this, the state of Texas has introduced the Texas Graduated Drivers License (GDL) Law. Implemented in 2002, the goal of this program is allow teens additional time to improve their driving skills in a lower-risk environment.
Here at Texan Insurance, we support the GDL regulations. Keeping young drivers safe should be one of our top priorities as a community. The GDL program consists of several phases that culminate in young drivers achieving a full license. Read on to find out more:
The first phase requires that all drivers under the age of 18 hold either a valid learner license or minor restricted driver license (MRDL) for at least 6 months. During this time, the young driver may only operate a vehicle if an adult age 21 or older occupies the front seat while they are driving. In addition, your teen must meet the Texas teen driver education requirements:
- 32 hours of classroom driver education instruction
- 44 hours behind the wheel
For drivers under 18, this phase lasts for 12-months following the issuance of a drivers license. During this time, teen drivers may NOT:
- Use a wireless communication device, including hands-free, unless in the case of an emergency
- Drive between the hours of midnight and 5 am unless going to school, work, or attending to a medical emergency
- Drive with more than one passenger under the age 21 who is not a member of the immediate family
The rules for teen drivers no longer apply once the GDL program has been completed; however, their license will still be marked “provisional” until their 18th birthday.
Source – Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program
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