• Jul 20, 2007

Based on recent moves in Indiana, Virginia, the PSA's in Australia, and now Massachusetts, speeding of the teen and adult varieties is the latest headline-grabbing menace to society. Massachusetts' Junior Operators' License Law, which outlines the punishments meted out to traffic offenders under the age of 18, was recently strengthened.


One of the first victims was Jackie Crawford, four weeks shy of her 18th birthday, who was given a ticket for going 35 in a 25. First came the $100 fine. Then came the 3-month license suspension. Then came mandatory attendance in the State Courts Against Road Rage program, as well as a driver attitude retraining course -- both of which her mother had to drive her to because Jackie's license was suspended. Then came the $500 fee to have her license reinstated. But she won't actually get her license back until she retakes both the written and the driving tests again... and pays the fees for those as well. In MA, 25 means 25, especially if you're under 18.

Thanks for the tip, Dylan!

[Source: Worcester Telegram via Car Advice]



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  • 47 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Since she already had her licence before the law was passed. The implementation should be that anyone who doesn't have their licence as of the initiation date, and then goes and gets it after the fact is then subject to it.

      She is 'grandfathered' in. She should fight this to the highest court. Stop runaway government.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Well what if the law when she got her licence was the you would receive a suspension if you got 4 tickets before age 18. So she was careful enough to only get 3.[underposted speed limits, and other BS, etc.] Now the new law is 2 tickets, and you get a suspension. Are they going to retroactively apply the new statute on someone who isn't under its juristiction? It sounds like they did just that.

        Idiots in the secretary of states office. [or the equivalent in taxachusetts}
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's very possible there was no grandfather exception when this law was enacted. I'm pretty sure grandfather exceptions must actually be stated in the laws themselves, they are not implied.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Barney your funny. If there was actual research proving that the speed limits were set for safety I'd obey them, but as you may know the are completely arbitrary. Speed limits, as they stand, are for nothing more than revenue.

      The only speeding limits I agree strongly with, though not at THESE fines, are school zones, senior zones, and around hospitals. Highway limits and MOST street limits are nearly as absurdly low as these fines.
      • 7 Years Ago
      are high these are absolutely ridiculous.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That is what you get when Ted the F*#K head Kennedy running around up there. I guess he can kill yes KILL someone while driving drunk and get away with it, but God FORBID exceeding the speed limit by a whole 10 mph!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ted Kennedy is in the US Senate. He has nothing to do with state laws.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I agree partially, I think road test should be twice as hard, and getting your license twice as expensive. We should have more relaxed laws but with stiff consequences for violating the somewhat more lenient laws that give you more freedom not less. Like Germany.
      • 7 Years Ago
      hey you you gotta pay for the governers new caddy somehow , you can not be seen in a crown vic , like mitt the last gov
      mass they can pick on a young driver
      but will not do thing about all the illegels
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm not about to say Republicans are the correct alternative, but most of this unholy revenue collecting bullcrap is a product of the liberal majority that lurks in New England. Speed cameras are a piece of the big brother mentality that these guys enjoy. Personally, I would like a smaller government that leaves me the heck alone. Cut spending, cut idiotic social programs that yield next to nothing (see welfare), reform campaign finance, and give control back to the people.

      This girl may have been wrong, but the punishment is a little to far. What about the children that come from less fortunate families. They buy their own car, pay for their own insurance (which is high), and then get hit with crap like this.

      Go to he!l you liberal scum.
      • 7 Years Ago
      In British Columbia the law is similar. All new drivers must have a magnetic sign (green in colour) on the rear of their vehicle. It is issued by motor vehicles. Anyone breaking the law with the car can and are reported by other drivers. The new driver caught will have to start from scratch and the probation period extended. I had some new driver pass me this morning, going over 80 kmh an a 50 kmh zone. No, I didn't report him but I hope he did get caught. If you are breaking the laws at the start, what kind of driver will you become.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ahhh yes..good ole' Massachusetts. Finding a way to steal more money and time from its citizens. No wonder why this state is losing so many people and jobs as the cost of living is stratospheric! This just adds to that reasoning. Keeping kids under control is the intent of this law, but to be realistic, I'd make a statement on the local level, stake out some of the Senator and Rep's homes, pull over their kids when they speed.. see what happens.. thats unfortunately what will bring a repeal of this idiotic law.
      • 7 Years Ago
      To comment upon the original article and not the guy who says traffic is too fast when driving an Aveo...

      The traffic laws in the US resemble in NO fashion any sort of realistic driving methodology, period. Most major highways are still 55mph. Most surface streets are 35mph. I have seen, personally, a number of 10mph residential-zoned streets. 10mph is absurd, no matter what way you slice it.

      The ONLY thing our current speed-limits are good for is discrimination-based revenue generation, and this proves that Mass. is doing their part to generate revenue and alienate teenagers, which will only make them resentful and, in the end, a worse driver, as you're taking them out of something they just got ahold of and are STILL learning to pilot properly.

      Now my question pertains to the legal grounds for this sort of punishment- the punishment must fit the crime. This smacks of age discrimination in the form of gross over-punishment of a minor offense: the article totals in time and money over 2k, by my estimation. That's two-thousand dollars for 10mph over the limit. And yes, I am aware that stopping distance is the square of the speed delta, but this is NOT a case of 90 in a 60, here. The percentages in a situation like this are worthless, as the 10mph limit will show. 10x1.4=14. 2,000 USD for going (as was previously stated) the equivalent in percentages of 14mph is absolutely ridiculous.

      A BETTER idea is to have a driver's education that actually educates the driver on how to drive a motor vehicle properly for conditions, to teach proper techniques for turns, braking, road-etiquette and accident avoidance rather than some class that one can sleep through and pass.

      Even better would be to make the driver's TEST longer than a single "round the block" test. The 50pt test in Britain is a good example of a decent test for drivers' skills and should be modeled for the US, but sadly, that's a state thing, and a federal mandate of a realistic driver's ed and test would have the states up in arms about the idea of federal encroachment. But that's a discussion for another time.

      Cheers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is an emerging trend. Worse is the budgeted vehicle seizures like in Chicago and Cali. Governments are blatantly targeting drivers to raise revenue, under the guise of punishing "offenses." http://thenewspaper.com/ is a good chronicle of information on BS like this. It's scary.
        • 7 Years Ago
        sorry for the double post
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think I'd prefer a bunch of teenagers going over the limit to a bunch going under the limit.

      If we had sensible speed limits instead of municipalities trying to cash in by keeping them artificially low, maybe people would take them seriously. But as it is most people drive 5 or 10 over, and usually that's ok, unless the wrong officer sees you in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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