As you get ready to drive, prepare for a young person to drive, or if you have a teen driver in your life, think about and emphasize the importance of driving safely and the enormous responsibilities that driving entails.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14- to 18-year-olds in the United States. In 2011, 2,105 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes. Almost half (45%) of those teen drivers died in the crashes.
Obeying the law and practicing safe driving behaviors are essential. One-fifth (20%) of the teen drivers killed in fatal crashes in 2011 did not have a valid driver license—the most basic driving law—at the time of the crashes. Invest in your safety and your teens’ safety by learning and teaching teens to always obey driving laws—including Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) restrictions—and reinforce these laws through your own family guidelines.
Teens learn from, and model their behavior after, their parents— including driving behavior. Novice drivers rarely crash while adults are supervising their driving. Unfortunately, the first six months of unsupervised driving are the most hazardous for novice drivers. Parents and teens must work together and commit to learning, practicing, and continuing safe and lawful driving behaviors.
*For this document, the term teen driver refers to drivers age 14 to 18. In 35 States a teen can obtain an unrestricted license before 18 with or without driver’s education. In 25 States a teen who takes driver’s education can get an unrestricted license at a younger age. Only a few States still allow 14-year-olds to have a license.
MOTORCYCLISTS: The Choices You Make Are More Important Than You Think
As a motorcyclist, you have many choices that greatly affect your safety on the road. And each choice has a consequence that could affect you and others in your life. As with any life-saving decision, it is vital that you make the best choices you possibly can.
There are personal preferences about which motorcycle to purchase – manufacturer, model, size, color. Other decisions require consideration beyond personal preference – such as helmet selection, training courses, and high-visibility protective gear. In some States, laws about helmet use and licensing guide you to make the best and safest decisions. But even if those laws do not exist in your State, consider the impact to you, your family, friends, coworkers, and community if you are seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle crash because of less-than-optimal choices about motorcycle safety gear.
For more information, visit: NHTSA.gov/Safety/Motorcycles
License Plate Covers are Illegal
From the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)
State law requires vehicle license plate numbers to be legible and unobscured by a glass or plastic cover or other device.
Chapter 90, Section 6 of the Massachusetts General Laws requires that a vehicle number license plate always be plainly visible with the numbers legible and not obscured by the installation of any device obscuring the numbers.
A violation of the legible plate requirements carries a $35 fine for first offense, $75 for second offense and $150 for third offense.
In the first six months of 2014, state and local police have issued approximately 4,000 violations of the legible plate requirement law. The Massachusetts State Police have issued 1,900 violations and say enforcement efforts will continue.
Legible plates allowing for prompt vehicle identification are a traffic safety priority and necessary for implementation of the new All-Electronic Tolling system now in place on the Tobin Bridge and set to expand on all Massachusetts tolled roads in the next two years. For those vehicles without an E-ZPass transponder, a camera captures an image of the vehicle license plate and a Pay-By-Plate invoice for the toll is mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner.
Massachusetts drivers may sign up for E-ZPass transponders online at www.mass.gov/ezpassma, by calling 1-877-627-7745, or by visiting one of our E-ZPass MA Customer Service Centers or Sign-up Locations listed on the web. The E-ZPass Sign up Team is also visiting communities in Massachusetts this summer and fall to assist new customers in signing up for a transponder.