Night curfews are among the special driving restrictions it is very common for states to include in their graduated driver’s license systems for teen drivers. Such curfews restrict certain young drivers from driving without supervision during certain nighttime hours. Louisiana has such a curfew in place when it comes to its intermediate license (the only driver’s license available for 16-year-olds in the state).
Despite the widespread presence of night curfews for teen drivers, night accidents involving teen drivers are still quite common in America. According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, between 2009 and 2014, young teen drivers (16 and 17) involved in nighttime crashes which resulted in fatalities made up nearly a third of all young teen drivers involved in deadly crashes.
As a note, the states’ night curfews for teen drivers generally don’t cover all nighttime hours. And the study indicated that quite a few nighttime crashes involving teens might be occurring in the period before most states’ curfews take effect.
The study recommended widespread lowering of the start times of teen driver night curfews in the country.
One of the times that some individuals, including the Governors Highway Safety Association’s executive director, have argued could be a good benchmark time for starting such curfews is 9:00 p.m.
When does Louisiana’s night curfew for holders of intermediate licenses start? It begins at 11:00 p.m., and continues on until 5:00 a.m. Do you think Louisiana should consider making the start time earlier?
Another thing to note about Louisiana’s teen driver curfew is that it only applies to intermediate license holders. It does not apply to holders of full licenses, which 17-year-olds can qualify for. Thus, in Louisiana’s graduated drivers license system, as it currently stands, 17-year-olds can escape being subject to the state’s teen night driving curfew.
What teen driving laws a state has (including its laws regarding night curfews) can impact many things. This includes teen driver safety and what things are major factors in personal injury cases involving teen driver accidents. So, what lawmakers ultimately decide to do when it comes to such laws matters quite a bit.
Sources: FOX25, “CDC calls for earlier curfew for new teen drivers,” George Colli, July 29, 2016
AAA Keys2Drive, “Louisiana - Licensing & State Laws,” Accessed Aug. 2, 2016
WGRZ, "CDC calls for earlier curfew for teen drivers," Kelly Dudzik, Aug 1. 2016