Bill would set new regulations on how Ohio’s teens become drivers

Two Ohio legislators want to set new limits on young motorists. They would increase the length of time new drivers are required to operate under permits rather than full licenses.

Currently, drivers under 18 are required to hold instruction permits for six months. A bill sponsored by state Reps. Gary Scherer, R-Circleville, and Michael Sheehy, D-Oregon, would extend that to one year.

If that happens, it also will stretch the amount of time beginning drivers have to comply with limits on their operation of motor vehicles. One is that they cannot drive between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

A simple check of the statistics ought to provide guidance. Do young, probationary drivers have a higher rate of serious accidents than other motorists? If so, the path for legislators is clear: Enact the bill.

No doubt doing that would infuriate many teenagers. Better to upset them now than have to read their obituaries in the newspaper, however.

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