Senate Increases Penalties for Violations of Young Drivers’ Licenses

By Clyde Chambliss

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Senator Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville) and Senator Dick Brewbaker (R-Pike Road) moved a bill through the Alabama Senate today to protect Alabama’s drivers by increasing the penalty for persons who use a Stage II driver’s license in violation of the law.

A Stage II license is for drivers under the age of 18 who have held a Stage I learner’s permit for at least six months

Senate Bill 173, known as the “Deputy Hart Act,” is named in memory of Elmore County Deputy James Bart Hart, who was killed on November 23, 2015, when a sixteen-year-old driver hit his car. The teenage driver was operating his vehicle at a speed of nearly 100 miles per hour and was carrying three non-family members as passengers, in violation of the restrictions on Stage II licenses. The teenage driver and two of his passengers were also killed.

“The car wreck resulting in the death of Deputy Hart and three teenagers was tragic. We need stiffer penalties in place to discourage reckless and unlawful driving among younger drivers,” Chambliss said.

Under Chambliss and Brewbaker’s legislation, violations of a Stage II license will lead to a fine of $250 plus court costs, and the violator’s license will be bumped down to a Stage I learner’s permit for six months.

“This is an enforcement mechanism that is long overdue,” remarked Brewbaker. “God willing, this legislation will make our roads a little safer for everyone.”

Parents or guardians who knowingly allow a driver with a Stage I or Stage II license in violation of the law will be subject to a fine of $500 plus court costs.

“We should certainly hold teenage drivers accountable, but parents also bear responsibility if they knowingly allow their kids to use a restricted license in violation of the law,” Chambliss said.

Senator Clyde Chambliss represents District 30 in the Alabama Senate, which is comprised of all or parts of Tallapoosa, Chilton, Autauga, Coosa, and Elmore counties. Senator Chambliss is the founder of Chambliss Engineering in Prattville. Follow him on Twitter: @Clyde_SD30

Senator Dick Brewbaker represents District 25, which includes all or parts of Elmore, Montgomery, and Crenshaw counties. He serves as chairman of the Senate Education & Youth Affairs Committee. Sen. Brewbaker is President and CEO of Brewbaker Motors, a 3rd generation family business.