State lawmakers push for teen driving permits to last 1 year

CLEVELAND -- Ohio lawmakers are hoping to save lives with a proposed new law that aims to reduce teen driving accidents.

House Bill 293 has bipartisan support and is backed by the Ohio PTA, AAA and parents of teenagers who’ve been killed in car crashes.

Stacy Schlotterbeck’s son Gavin wasn’t texting, driving distracted or impaired when he died with his girlfriend July 2017.

She said, it was inexperience that caused his accident and statistically most others.

“He over corrected and crossed the center line, and they were hit by an oncoming car and killed instantly,” said Schlotterbeck at a recent press conference at the Ohio State House in Columbus.

The proposed bill would extend the temporary permit instruction time from 6 months to 12 months, so that teens could get more experience and in all types of weather.

The bill would also reduce the hours teens are on the road at night by restricting driving between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

“It think it’s a good change,” said Regina Spicer, an instructor with New Beginnings Driving School in Euclid, “Teens have the highest crash rate per mile than any other age group.”

Robert Swinton, General Manager with Overbeke School of Driving also likes the proposed law, but wishes it went further because currently it only requires extra time on the road with parental supervision.

“We could see more training, more time behind the wheel with a licensed trained instructor,” said Swinton, “Many of our students' parents are afraid to get in the car with them.”

The law passed committee and is expected to go for a full vote on the floor in November.

Continuing coverage, here.