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For Immediate Release
Arpil 8, 2003
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky

Secretary of State to Testify for Young Drivers Law

AUGUSTA - Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky will testify in favor of enhanced safety limits for young drivers during a public hearing Wednesday in Augusta.

"Young people die at a rate of more than one per week in motor vehicle crashes in Maine," said Secretary Gwadosky. "This plan can save many of those lives."

The public hearing on LD 1439, "An Act to Protect Young Drivers and Passengers," is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 9, in room 126 of the State House before the Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Transportation.

The proposal would move Maine from a two-step licensing procedure to a three-step system. Where Maine currently uses a learner's permit and an unrestricted license, the new system would introduce an intermediate license period between the permit phase and the unrestricted license phase. The intermediate license would apply to new drivers under 18 years of age. Other provisions apply to young drivers under 21 years of age.

Among other restrictions, such as limits on passengers and operating hours, the plan calls for young drivers to have a permit for at least six months before earning an intermediate license and to hold an intermediate license for at least six consecutive violation-free months before earning an unrestricted license.

"Motor vehicle fatalities are the leading cause of death for teenagers and young drivers," said Gwadosky. "Maine can do better by its young people."