Driving in GA: What to Know About Joshua's Law
UPDATE: Starting July 1, 2021 teenagers (ages 16 and 17) attempting to get their driver's license in Georgia will have to meet new requirements. Learn more here
In the US, a teenager aged 16 can earn their driver's license and drive across the country. That is different from 78 percent of countries worldwide that consider 18 years old as the minimum driving age. That also means if you decide to drive, you may do so as long as you successfully earn your license and fulfill whatever the state adds as a requirement.
Part of learning to drive is reading and following road signages and traffic lights. However, learning about the law is another crucial thing to include in your driving education.
If you are from Georgia, we will tell you about one important law that applies to all 16-year-old future drivers in the state―Joshua's Law.
What Is Joshua's Law?
This law was approved in 2005 and enacted in 2007 to protect the lives of teenage drivers in the state. The law updated the requirements for people who want to obtain their driver's license at 16.
Joshua's Law was named after Joshua Brown, a promising young boy who died in a car accident in 2003. Grief-stricken by the accident. Alan Brown, Joshua’s father, decided to do something about it. Instructed by the voice of God in his sleep, he finished a draft of the law and presented it to a state senator after only a few hours in one night.
The senate claimed Joshua’s Law to be one of the best pieces of legislation presented in Georgia. With 87% of votes in the senate, it saves more than 20 thousand teenage lives every year.
What You Should Know About Joshua's Law
According to Joshua's Law, all 16 and 17-year-old wannabe drivers in Georgia will need to:
Finish an accredited driver's education program
Here are some things you need to take note of:
If they choose to take a class D license:
The driver should be at least 16 years old.
They should accomplish a driver education course approved by the Department of Driver Services.
They should spend 40 hours of supervised driving (including six hours of night driving). The 40 hours must follow the 40 hour parent-teen program supplied by the DDS. If not, then the 40 hours of experience must be accompanied by six hours of professional instruction.
They should bear an Instructional Permit for one year and one day.
They should pass the state-administered comprehensive on-road driving test.
They must also learn about the following restrictions:
They cannot drive between midnight and 5 am.
In their first six months of driving, they can only carry passengers who are their immediate family.
On their sixth month of driving onwards, they can drive any passengers so long as only one of them is below 21 years old.
After a year, they can carry at least three passengers below 21 years of age.
If they decide to operate a class C vehicle:
They must be accompanied by an adult of at least 21 years old.
This companion should have a license to drive a class C vehicle.
This companion must be physically fit and should be able to control the car when in need.
This companion should be seated beside the driver.
If you decide to get your license in Georgia, you should beware of Joshua's Law. All these rules were designed to protect the safety of young drivers in the state. A little sacrifice and inconvenience now can save your life later.
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