New Texas law to crack down on drivers under the age of 18

By: Kristen Shanahan Email
By: Kristen Shanahan Email

SHERMAN, TX -- A new Texas law will crack down on drivers under the age of 18 beginning next month.

At age 17 Makaila Welch says she and her friends were involved in an accident caused by distracted driving.

"We were on our way to the lake in a good mood, you know, ready to go get in the water and all of us were distracted and had the music up and my boyfriend was trying to show off, and the next thing you know we're upside down in a ditch," Welch said.

Her experience is why she supports an expanded Texas law. Starting September 1st those under 18 will not be permitted to drive with more than one passenger in the vehicle under 21-years-old who is not a family member.

"They're limiting the amount of people in the car that aren't family members because I think what they're finding is a lot of times you get in these situations, and we were all teenagers at one time, you get distracted with your friends. You get a bunch of people in there and you're not paying attention to the road, " Sgt. Hampton said.

Sgt. D.M. Hampton, with the Sherman Police Department, also says beginning next month drivers under 18-years-old will not be allowed to drive between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. unless they are driving to-or-from a school-related activity, work or a medical emergency.

"It's just one of those things to keep, you know, kids from maybe thinking about maybe sneaking out of the house... and go pick up four or five of their friends and then stay out till two or three o'clock in the morning," Sgt. Hampton said.

"I don't think kids under 18 should be out at all hours of the night running around trying to get into trouble," Welch said.

Also under the law drivers under 18, in Texas, may not drive while using a cell phone or other wireless communications device except in emergencies.

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