New law for teen drivers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New law for teen drivers

June 30, 2004

Albany-- It's a part of growing up all teens look forward to, "Having a license is a privilege, you know, you earn it," says 18-year-old Jarmal Kennedy.

But, if you don't stay in school that privilege could be taken away.  Getting your first driver's license is a monumental event in a young person's life.

It means freedom for teens, but that freedom could be stripped away if your child is not in school.

The waiting game at the DMVS.  But, for these teens, a few hours wait for a coveted driver's license is no big deal, "It's a great feeling, so you would want to wait, you know."

Kennedy is getting his drivers license today.  A few years ago, this teen's future wasn't so clear. Kennedy dropped out of high school, "Uh, yes, you know, I am getting my GED, I am taking two trades right now."

A new law taking effect July 1st prohibits a child from getting his drivers license or permit if he or she is not in school. Kennedy says if that law had been in place a few years ago, he might have gotten his diploma, "Yes, I think I would have worked a little bit harder you know and thought about the choices I made you know."

Now, a student at Turner Job Corps and working toward his GED, this young man is turning his life around--and the result is so much more than being another driver on the road.

Teens under the age of 18 must be enrolled in school and have an attendance record in good standing to apply for a license or permit.

Even a suspension or serious misbehavior in school could result in a driver's license being taking away for one year. The state law takes effect Thursday.

Posted at 4:19 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com