New rules for new drivers July 1

By Frank Lewis

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Beginning July 1, drivers issued a probationary license will face restrictions on when they can drive and how many passengers are allowed in the car while driving based on experience instead of age. The change is a result of Ohio’s Drive Toward a Safer Ohio Initiative and is an effort to increase the level of experience for Ohio’s young drivers.

“The change in driving times and the passenger restrictions during the first 12 months of driving allows Ohio’s young motorists to gain more experience on the road, while reducing their risks,” Karhlton Moore, Executive Director of the Office of Criminal Justice Services, said. “This will help them become safer drivers.”

Through their first 12 months of having a driver license, probationary drivers under the age of 18 will not be allowed to drive between midnight at 6 a.m. unless that driver is accompanied by a parent or a guardian. Those with valid documentation from work, school or church allowing for travel for activities between these hours are exempt.

The probationary driver will not be allowed to drive with more than one non-family member in the car; all passengers must wear safety belts at all times and the use of mobile communication while driving is prohibited.

“I am supportive of measures that are intended to save the lives of our young people,” Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said. “The statistics show that our most inexperienced drivers are the ones who are most susceptible to violent crashes of motor vehicles. It is prudent upon us to take measures to protect the lives of our youth. These restrictions help remove these drivers out of the situations that increase the likelihood of being involved in a serious crash and allow them to become more experienced in handling the operation of a motor vehicle with limited distraction.”

More information regarding probationary drivers and the new restrictions placed on this is available at

“Too many of our young people are killed and injured in preventable motor vehicle crashes,” Ware said. “It is vitally important that we take whatever measures we can to protect them in these early years of motor vehicle operations.”

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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