Driving Laws, 2006
Currently all states plus DC have child safety seat laws and enforce a drinking age of 21. As of August 2005, all 50 states had blood alcohol concentration (bac) limits of 0.08, following concerted state and national efforts to lower the rate from 0.10. A national speed limit of 55 mph was imposed in 1974, and in 1987 it was modified to allow 65-mile-per-hour speeds on some rural freeways. The federal law was entirely repealed in 1995, giving states the right to set their own limits. As of April 2005, graduated licensing laws were in effect in 41 states plus DC, 38 of which prohibit young drivers from driving during high-risk nighttime and early morning hours.
1. Refers to minimum age for driver's license with no restrictions on unsupervised nighttime driving or carrying passengers. Driver education may be a prerequisite, and one may be limited to carrying only seat-belted passengers.
2. How long (or if) licenses can be suspended before conviction, if drivers fail or refuse to take a chemical test.
3. Legislation for instruments designed to prevent drivers from starting their cars when breath alcohol content is at or above a set point.
4. A multiple offender's vehicle may be seized and disposed.
5. Presence of law, or age below which riders are required to wear helmet.
6. All passengers required to wear helmet.
7. Required for certain ages at all seating positions.
8. Helmet must also be carried on the motorcycle, whether or not it is worn, for persons 19 and older.
9. Helmet optional for those over listed age if they have proper insurance. (In Texas, they may instead complete a training and safety course.)
10. Helmets must be worn by cyclists holding learners' permits.
11. First-year novices required to wear helmet. (In Penn., first two years, unless driver completes a safety course.)
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Web: www.iihs.org .
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