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New restrictions for teen drivers in Illinois now law


By AP/KWMU/IL Public Radio


To see a list of new driving laws for teenage drivers in Illinois, click here.

Legislation to tighten laws for teen drivers in Illinois is now law, after being signed Monday. The changes make it tougher for teens to get their license, and put more restrictions on them once they hit the road.

For one, the new law ups the amount of adult supervision time teens need from three months to nine another move by the state to make sure the new motorists are ready before hitting the road alone.

Just last year, the state doubled the amount of required driving practice time teens need to 50 hours from 25.

To Robert Villalobos, it seems like more of a hassle than it's worth. "It won't really matter that much," Villalobos said of the stricter requirements signed into law at the downtown Chicago high school where he will be a freshman.

But lawmakers and other supporters contend the tougher measure will help save teens' lives by making them better drivers.

"Practice makes perfect and that's the same thing we want to apply here," said State Rep. John D'Amico, one of the bill's chief sponsors and a football coach who likened the additional requirements to the practicing that makes student athletes better.

Like Villalobos, other freshmen at Jones Commercial Prep pronounced the extra supervision requirements "annoying" and "a bit long" but most grudgingly acknowledged the extra driving experience would do them good.

"It will sort of make you safer if you're more used to driving," said 14-year-old Nathan Inserra-Mousin.

And parents lauded the new rules. "I think it's great," said Nathan's mother, Chris Inserra.

The new law, most of which takes effect in January, also moves up by an hour curfews for teen drivers to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends.

"It is designed to help our young people live a long and productive life, and to protect our driving public," noted Secretary of State Jesse White, whose office crafted the legislation.

The package of legislation also includes a regulation that say new drivers under 18-years-old can't take more than one passenger under 20 for their first full year on the road. That rule doesn't apply to siblings or others who are related to them.


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