Crash Highlights Age Restrictions for Teen Drivers

By: Erich Spivey
By: Erich Spivey

January 17, 2006
Sunday night’s fatal crash is highlighting the importance of those driving restrictions on young drivers. The 15-year-old driver needed someone at least 21 in the passenger seat, but the passenger was just 18. News 12 has more on the rules of the road and the importance of those three years.

Don Brock has seen a lot over three decades as a driving instructor. His focus, teen driving and the dangers of starting out, some as young as 15-years-old.

“It’s very important that they understand all the skills first and develop a confidence,” Brock said.

Brock trains hundreds of young drivers each year and takes time to point out the consequences of bad driving.

“I hammer it all the time. The key is you tell them about it and you keep telling them and keep telling them. Someone’s going to get it after a while,” Brock said.

The extra attention comes after Sunday night’s crash in Edgefield County that killed two teenagers. 15-year-old Robby Kasten was driving the car when he lost control and slammed into a tree. His passenger was 18-year-old Bobby Kotz. But a spokesman for the highway patrol says the passenger should have been at least three years older.

According to South Carolina driver’s license regulations, a 15-year-old driver with a learner’s permit must have a passenger that’s at least 21 years old, same as in Georgia. In South Carolina, that passenger must also have one year’s driving experience.

“Just that three years of age from 18 to 21 obviously they’ve got more experience. But also the maturity level as grown,” Brock said.

Rules of the road, in hopes of preventing accidents in the future.

Click the following links for the complete regulations for teen drivers for South Carolina and Georgia.

And an update on a story we first brought you last August. The Columbia County sheriff’s office says 101 teen drivers have joined the STOPPED program. That stands for Sheriff’s Telling Our Parents and Promoting Educated Drivers. It uses a bumper sticker on the teens’s car, and anyone can report dangerous driving. That information is then passed along to the parent. To sign up, call (706) 541-3970.


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