Thursday, September 19, 2002

Judge getting tougher with teen drivers

By Sheila McLaughlin,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Days after the highway patrol announced a crackdown on teen speeders after a rash of serious crashes, a Warren County judge said he, too, is taking a hard line.

        Beginning Tuesday, most first-time speeders and those who are charged with seat belt violations will automatically lose their license for 30 days and possibly up to two years, Juvenile Judge Mike Powell said.

        His decision comes after seven Tristate teens died in recent crashes and seven more were seriously injured Sept. 6 in Warren County. The 16-year-old driver in that accident lost control traveling 93 mph, troopers said.

        The new policy includes teens who are caught driving 70 mph or more, those who exceed the speed limit by 10 mph, and drivers who speed under risky conditions. Driving privileges for school, work and other activities could be denied, the judge said.

        The suspension applies to teen drivers who aren't wearing seat belts, don't enforce that rule for their passengers, or have more passengers than seat belts in their car.


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