Jefferson High School FBLA is sponsoring a First Impact program at 6 pm, Monday, March 12 for middle school and high school students and community members.
The First Impact program is offered in cooperation with the highway patrol and the Northwest Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, and is free to the public. Throughout the video and discussion presentation, coaches, Deana Tucker Dothage, director of First Impact, and Sgt. Jake Angle, Missouri Highway Patrol, will speak on topics including teen driving risks and Missouri’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) law.
They will also address parents on how to monitor and enforce the GDL, being good role models and strategies to help their new driver. First Impact coaches promote the importance of parents and children working together to reduce teen injuries, crashes and fatalities.
The GDL is a three-step licensing process, allowing teens to build skills and practice while minimizing scenarios that pose the greatest risk for new drivers. As they pass each level, young drivers are allowed more freedoms until eventually they receive a full fledged licence. According the University of Missouri’s First Impact website, research has shown that the law has helped reduce teen crashes by 20 to 40 percent. The two limits that have had the greatest impact on teen safety are the limits on passengers and nighttime driving.
The GDL levels are as follows:
•Eligibility: teens are eligible at 15 years of age and it is valid for 12 months. They must pass the vision, road sign and written tests.
•Restrictions: drivers must practice for at least six months or 182 days, log a minimum of 40 hours of supervised practice driving with 10 of those hours occurring at night, no texting or reading texts, drivers under 16 must have a qualified person at least 25 years of age with a current license for a minimum of three years and written permission from a parent. At 16, drivers may drive with a qualified person at least 21 years of age with a current license and everyone must be wearing a seat belt.
•Qualified person: includes parents, grandparents, legal guardian or certified driving instructor.
•Eligibility: drivers are eligible at 16 after completing all the requirements of the instruction permit phase. They must pass the vision, road sign recognition and driving tests, have no alcohol-related convictions within the last 12 months and no traffic convictions within the last six months and their driving privilege cannot have been suspended, revoked or denied during the instruction permit phase.
•Restrictions: No texting or reading texts. For the first six months, drivers can have only one passenger under the age of 19 who is not a member of their immediate family. After six months, drivers may have no more than three passengers under the age of 19 who are not members of the immediate family. Drivers can not drive between the hours of 1 and 5 am except to and from a school activity, job or emergency unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is 21 years or older.
Under 21 Full Driver’s License
•Eligibility: drivers are eligible at the age of 18, must have a valid intermediate license and pass the vision and road sign recognition tests. They cannot have had any crash-related, alcohol or drug violations within the last 12 months and their driving privilege cannot have been suspended, revoked or denied during the intermediary phase.