NEW JUNIOR OPERATOR LICENSE LAW

Major progress in protecting the safety of teen drivers in Massachusetts was made on January 3, 2007 when the long awaited Junior Operatorís bill was enacted. The law, which was last changed in 1998, is intended to ensure that every junior operator licensed in the Commonwealth has received the proper training and experience to safely and responsibly operate a motor vehicle, as well as providing significant penalties for those individuals who do not.

 

Change or Addition

Current Law Comparison

Effective Date

Junior Operator Passenger Restriction/Penalties
No passengers during first 6 months of licensure, other than immediate family members Current restriction, increased penalties  
1st offense: 60-day license suspension Currently 30-day suspension 3/31/2007
2nd offense: 180-day license suspension and required attitudinal retraining Currently 60-day suspension 3/31/2007
Subsequent offenses: 1-year license suspension and required attitudinal retraining Currently 90-day suspension 3/31/2007
Junior Operator Night Driving Restriction/Penalties
Restricts driving from 12:30 AM-5:00 AM for duration of junior operator licensure, unless accompanied by parent/guardian.  Primary enforcement 1:00 AM-4:00 AM. Currently restriction begins at 12:00am 3/31/2007
 1st offense: 60-day license suspension New penalty 3/31/2007
2nd offense: 180-day license suspension and required attitudinal retraining New penalty 3/31/2007
Subsequent offenses: 1-year license suspension and required attitudinal retraining New penalty 3/31/2007
Fine for unlicensed operation: $100 and $1000 Currently between $100 and $200 3/31/2007
Learnerís Permit Driving Unaccompanied Restrictions/Penalties
Restricts driving under a permit unless accompanied by a licensed driver 21 or older with 1 year or more driving experience. Current law, new penalties  
1st offense: 60-day permit suspension New penalty 3/31/2007
2nd offense: 180-day permit suspension  and completion of driver attitudinal retraining New penalty 3/31/2007
Subsequent offenses: 1-year permit suspension New penalty 3/31/2007
Fine for unlicensed operation: $100 and $1000 Currently between $100 and $200 3/31/2007
Learnerís Permit Night Driving Restrictions/Penalties
Restricts driving from 12:00 AM-5:00 AM for duration of junior operator licensure, unless accompanied by parent/guardian.  Primary enforcement 1 AM-4 AM Current law, new penalties 3/31/2007
1st offense: 60-day permit suspension New penalty 3/31/2007
2nd offense: 180-day permit suspension and completion of driver attitudinal retraining New penalty 3/31/2007
Subsequent offenses: 1-year permit suspension New penalty 3/31/2007
Fine for unlicensed operation: $100 and $1000 Currently between $100 and $200 3/31/2007
Driving Negligently or Recklessly as a Junior Operator
Increases the minimum 1st offense license suspension for junior operators who drive negligently or recklessly to 180 days Currently up to 60 day revocation upon conviction 3/31/2007
Subsequent conviction within 3-years: 1-year suspension Currently up to 1-year suspension 3/31/2007
Junior Operator and Learnerís Permit Drag Racing Penalty
1st offense: 1-year license or learner's permit suspension and $250 fine and $500 license or learner's permit reinstatement fee Currently 30-day suspension and fine between $100 and $500 3/31/2007
2nd or subsequent offense: 3-year license or learner's permit suspension and $500 fine and $1000 license or learner's permit reinstatement fee Currently 180-day suspension and fine between $200 and $1000 with a 3rd offense penalty of 1-year suspension and fine between $200 and $1000 3/31/2007
Requires completion of SCARR program, driver attitudinal retraining course, and 2nd road test for license reinstatement for JOL offenders New penalty 3/31/2007
Requires completion of SCARR program, driver attitudinal retraining course and reapplication for a learnerís permit before offender may apply for licensure. New penalty 3/31/2007
Operating a Motor Vehicle Without Having Been Issued a License
Increases maximum fine for operating a motor vehicle without being duly licensed to $1000 Currently between $100 and $200 3/31/2007
Learnerís Permit Speeding/Penalties
1st offense: 90-day permit suspension, minimum $50 fine, plus additional $10 for each mph in excess of 10 mph over posted speed limit, plus $50 surcharge Current penalty is a fine 3/31/2007
2nd or subsequent offense: 1-year permit suspension, minimum $50 fine, plus additional $10 for each mph in excess of 10 mph over posted speed limit, plus $50 surcharge Current law for 3rd or subsequent offense within a 12-month period is 30-day permit suspension and fine 3/31/2007
Junior Operator Speeding/Penalties
1st offense: 90-day license suspension, $50 fine, plus additional $10 fine for each mph exceeding 10 mph over speed limit, plus $50 surcharge, completion of SCARR program and completion of an attitudinal retraining course Current penalty is a fine 3/31/2007
2nd and subsequent offenses: 1 year license suspension, $50 fine, plus additional $10 fine for each mph exceeding 10 mph over speed limit, plus $50 surcharge, completion of SCARR program and completion of an attitudinal retraining course Current penalty is 180-day license suspension and fine 3/31/2007
Requires a $500 reinstatement fee and 2nd road test for license reinstatement Currently $100 reinstatement fee 3/31/2007

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