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IL traffic lawyerIf you grew up in the United States, you can probably remember the excitement of your teenage years when you finally turned 16 and were able to get your driver’s license. Though that feeling of independence is important in many teens’ lives, we know that teenagers do not always make the best decisions; studies have shown that the brain of young adults is not actually finished developing until their mid-twenties. Because of information like this and statistics involving teen crashes and driving habits, many states have developed strict teen driving programs and specific penalties for teens who break the rules.

Graduated Driver Licensing Program

The state of Illinois requires teens to follow a graduated driver licensing (GDL) program before they can get their driver’s license. The program consists of three phases, each giving the driver more freedom as they gain more experience. The phases of Illinois’ GDL program are as follows:

  • Permit Phase (Age 15): During this phase, the teen must have a parent or guardian with them at all times while driving. They must also hold their permit for a minimum of nine months before they can get their initial driver’s license. During those nine months, the driver must not receive any driving infractions, underage alcohol convictions or court supervision.
  • Initial Licensing Phase (Ages 16-17): This phase begins after a driver successfully completes the permit phase. During this phase, the driver is subject to curfew hours and must not have more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 20 unless that passenger is an immediate family member. The driver must maintain a conviction-free driving record for at least six months prior to turning 18 to obtain full driver’s license privileges.
  • Full Licensing Phase (Ages 18-20): Once a driver turns 18, they are permitted to have full driver’s license privileges, though they are still subject to certain rules that drivers out of the GDL program are not. For example, any driver who is under the age of 19 is not permitted to use a cell phone while driving, including using hands-free mode.

 How Can a Traffic Violation Affect Teen Driving Privileges?

Receiving a traffic violation during the GDL program can affect your driving privileges in the following ways:

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IL traffic violation attorneyWe all know what it was like when we first got our driver’s license - freedom at last. One of the big American teenage milestones is getting your license, but according to multiple studies and statistics, teens pose a risk to themselves and other drivers when they are behind the wheel. According to a study published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers ages 16-17 years old had a crash rate that is close to double the crash rate of drivers ages 18-19 and about 4.5 times the crash rate for drivers ages 30-39, 40-49 and 50-59. One of the best ways you can keep your teen from getting a ticket is by teaching them proper driving techniques. Here are four tips you can use to help prevent your teen from getting a ticket:

  1. Make Sure Your Teen Gets Enough Practice

This can be one of the most important things you can do because much of the teen’s driving mistakes are made because they are young and inexperienced drivers. It is recommended that teens get at least 50 hours of driving time in multiple conditions, such as nighttime driving, driving in the rain or in the snow. Fifty hours of driving practice should be enough to provide a reasonable understanding of driving, but each teen is different, so your teen could require more time.

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