New Hampshire Weakens GDL Law

New Hampshire has weakened time restrictions on Graduated Drivers License (GDL) holders, barring them from driving only from 1:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. Previously, the time restriction had been from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.

Graduated Drivers Licenses are used in New Hampshire to minimize the danger posed by young novice drivers. New drivers, especially those under the age of 18, have elevated car accident rates. They lack the judgment, focus, and experience of older drivers, and pose a risk both to themselves and to others on the road.

Graduated Drivers Licenses are used in forty-nine states, as well as the District of Columbia, to make the acquisition of a full license a three-step process. New drivers first receive a supervised learner's permit, then an intermediate license that restricts the times they can drive and how many passengers they can carry. Upon completion of the first two steps, they can receive a full-privilege license.

New Hampshire, known for its statewide aversion to overregulation, already had some of the most lenient restrictions on GDL drivers in the nation. The change, allowing young drivers to be on the road earlier in the morning, was presumably made to give early-risers (such as those involved with sports or agriculture) increased ability to move freely. The new law will go into effect January 1, 2011.

No matter what the letter of the law says, however, it is still crucial to speak to young drivers about the dangers of car accidents and careless driving. We have seen far too many serious accidents involving young drivers, and we believe safety always starts at home. Teen drivers should not text or talk on cell phones while driving, and they should NEVER drink and drive.

The law firm of Van Dorn & Curtiss serves the residents of New Hampshire in car accident and other personal injury claims. Our New Hampshire car accident attorneys have fought to get millions of dollars of compensation for our clients. Call our offices in Orford or Concord today if you or a loved one have been a victim of a car accident.


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