Junior Operator Penalties Increase March 31st

Zero tolerance for young drivers who speed or drive unsafely

The Registry of Motor Vehicles reminded Massachusetts citizens today that stiff, new junior operator penalties will go into effect on March 31, 2007. The new penalties include substantial suspensions, as well as stiff fines and reinstatement costs, even for first time offenders.

"Speed kills and teens need to know the law will not tolerate speeding or reckless driving from the minute they get their license," said Registrar Anne L. Collins.

The new law is intended to create a "zero tolerance" environment for speeding or other unsafe driving by teens. Speeding tickets will result in 90-day license suspension, $50 fine, completion of the State Courts Against Road Rage (SCARR) program, completion of an attitudinal retraining course, and a $500 reinstatement fee. In addition, violations in excess of 10 mph over the speed limit will also include additional $10 fines for each mph over that threshold and a $50 surcharge.

Major progress in protecting the safety of teen drivers in Massachusetts was made on January 3, 2007 when the long awaited Junior Operator's bill was enacted. The law, which was last changed in 1998, is intended to ensure that every junior operator licensed in the Commonwealth has received the proper training and experience to safely and responsibly operate a motor vehicle, as well as providing significant penalties for those individuals who do not.

A complete overview of the new penalties may be found on the RMV website at www.massrmv.com under the Teens and Parents section.

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