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Forum staff reports, Published February 13 2009

Residents support licensing changes

Two surveys show North Dakotans support changing the current licensing regulations for the state’s teen drivers, according to a news release issued by AAA North Dakota.

The surveys – one by AAA and the other by the Rural Transportation Safety and Security Center at North Dakota State University – show the public and parents of teen drivers believe changes are needed to improve safety of the state’s roadways.

The findings show support for license restrictions during new drivers’ first six months of licensing.

AAA North Dakota said a December survey showed 88 percent of respondents thought drivers should be at least 16 years old to get a license. Four percent said the age should remain at 14.

The Rural Transportation Safety and Security Center survey found strong support for changes in licensing from parents of teen drivers, including 78 percent of parents of new teen drivers supporting licensing at age 16.

In addition, during the first six months of licensing, the survey of parents showed:

- 64 percent support a passenger limit of one person.

- 85 percent support 11 p.m. night driving restrictions.

- 88 percent support cell phone restrictions.

A previous AAA North Dakota showed support for restrictions during the first six months of a new teen licensing. Respondents of that survey showed:

- 82 percent support limiting passengers to one non-family member.

- 89 percent support imposing nighttime driving restrictions.

- 97 percent support restricting cell phone use while driving.