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Teen Driving

Traffic Safety Board
William Johnson, Administrator


Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in the US. In fact, in 2013, there were 2,614 teen (15-19 year old) passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes and an estimated 130,000 were injured.  The vast majority of these crashes are caused either directly or indirectly by driver inexperience.  Simply put, young and newly licensed drivers are much more likely to be involved in a crash than more experienced drivers.

NYS Graduated Licensing

The NYS Graduated Driver License Program limits the driving privileges for New York drivers under the age of 18 and who posses either a junior learners permit or a junior drivers license (Class DJ, MJ or DJMJ). Some of the limitations placed on the young drivers include where in New York State they can drive and what times of the day they are permitted to drive. Understanding the privileges and limitations is extremely important because if you do not comply with these restrictions, your junior learner permit or junior driver license could be suspended or revoked for 60 days.  

Teenagers are eligible to obtain their learner’s permit once they turn 16. After they have held their learners permit for six months they are eligible for their junior driver’s license.

Important Safety Reminders

  • Buckle up. Don’t leave the driveway without yourself and each passenger being secured
  • Eliminate distractions (using a cell phone or smartphone, eating, grooming, etc.)
  • Ease up on the gas pedal by not speeding
  • Never drink and drive
  • Follow the rules of the road
  • Remain alert to the road ahead
  • Avoid night driving with other teen passengers, especially on weekends


The best teaching tool for your teen is your example. If you tell your teen to obey the speed limit do you speed?  Will you be able to get your teen to buckle up if you don’t use a seat belt when you drive?  Be mindful of continuing to set a good example.

Before your teen starts to drive get the facts  such as driver education, licensing, and risks.  As your teen drives with supervision you can help them  to be a safer driver. You can prepare your teen for driving on their own by understanding state laws, insurance, and requirements.  Thus you can help shape your teen into a safe, responsible driver.  NYS DMV Younger Driver Resources provides information on monitor my teen driver program  (TEENS), forms, etc.

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Eoin Wrafter,Commissioner Eoin Wrafter
Dutchess County Seal