Young drivers are limited by law on number of passengers

(AP Photo/Lim Huey Teng, File)
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Traci Boyd is dreading April 12. The day her son Michael turns 16 and starts to drive.

When I asked her if she knew how many kids her son could have in the car when he starts driving her answer.

"Should be zero I thought it was zero," she said.

Then I asked her son.

"Two?", he said.

Parent Jody Ensminger has a child already behind the wheel.

"As far as I'm concerned they shouldn't have any more than one person until they are 18," he said.

On January 4, 2007, the one-passenger restriction was implemented for 16-year-old probationary license holders. Seventeen-year-old probationary license holders were not subject to the one passenger restriction but only to the number of originally installed safety belts.

In 2017 the number of tickets issued to teens driving with too many kids in the car was 256, that's a uptick from 242 in 2016 and 226 in 2015.

Recently, the passenger restriction was changed and was established for all probationary license holders for the first year they hold their license.

Driving instructor Joe Losey said after every class or test he makes a point to his students to tell them about the number of people they're allowed to be in their car.

"I tell them every single day whether they absorb this information and use it is another story," he said.

Enforcing the one passenger restriction is a challenge for law enforcement because the law requires an officer must witness a driver commit a traffic violation in order to inquire the age of people in the car.

Meanwhile, parents like Ensminger and Boyd said it is their duty to make sure their kids are driving with the least amount of distractions as possible.

"We just try and tell them until they have some driving under their belt, they don't have a bunch of friends with them. If their friends give them grief about it, so be it," he said.

According to AAA, car crashes take the lives of teenagers more than any other cause of death in the United States.

New drivers, 16 or 17-year-olds, are three times more likely than an adult to be involved in a deadly crash.

AAA says 8,300 teens were involved in crashes in Ohio in 2016.