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Parents should understand junior permit and license restrictions

Learning how to drive is an exciting time for teens, but parents with teen drivers should take note of New York State driving restrictions for those with permits and junior licenses. New York has implemented restrictions for driving times and the number of passengers allowed to prevent teen accidents.

Although they may be driving with a provisional license, drivers with a learner permit or junior license can be charged with a traffic violation just like an adult.

Restrictions for junior drivers

Drivers holding a learner permit are not allowed to drive without a supervising driver who is 21 or older. In Long Island and New York City the supervising driver must be a parent, guardian or driving instructor. Throughout Update New York, drivers with a junior license may only drive alone between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. when traveling from home to employment or school.

Drivers with a junior permit or license have limitations on how many passengers they can carry and where the passengers can sit. Permit and junior license holders cannot drive with more than one passenger under the age of 21 unless they are immediate family members or if the supervising driver is a parent, guardian or driving instructor. All passengers must wear a seat belt and the passenger in the front seat must be the supervising driver.

Penalties and sanctions

Drivers with junior permits and licenses are not exempt from penalties and sanctions. If convicted of a serious traffic violation worth three points or two lesser offenses, a driver’s permit or junior license will be suspended for 60 days. If the violations occur within six months after a previous suspension the driver’s permit or license will be revoked for 60 days. Drivers convicted of a cell phone violation, including texting, will have their license suspended for 120 days. A driver may not schedule a road test until six months have passed since a suspension or revocation.

Fighting a ticket

Traffic tickets issued to minors can be fought just like tickets issued to adults. The ticket will list instructions for how to make a plea. Depending on where and how the ticket was issued, a response may be required in person, via phone, online or through the mail. Fighting a ticket in a timely manner is important; failing to respond by the deadline often leads to a guilty conviction by default.

Consequences of a traffic violation result in more than just fines and a ticket can lead to accumulated points for each infraction. Drivers who accumulate 11 points within 18 months face license suspension in addition to increased auto insurance rates. Before pleading guilty and paying a ticket, make sure to understand the ramifications of a guilty conviction.