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What is Joshua’s Law?megan
In 2003, Joshua Brown, a 17-year-old from Cartersville, GA, died in a car accident. Brown was driving on a 2-lane highway in the rain when he hit a puddle, hydroplaned, and crashed into a tree. Brown was severely injured and died from the accident 9 days later. Brown had never had any driver’s education training when he started driving. After the accident, Brown’s father was motivated to tighten teen driving requirements in the state and wrote “Joshua’s Law”.
In 2005, Senate Bill 226, otherwise known as Joshua’s Law, was passed with an 87% majority in the Georgia House and Senate. The teen driving requirements in the bill went into effect in 2007.
Joshua’s Law Requirements
All 16 and 17-year-olds applying for a Class D driver’s license in the state of Georgia must complete a Department of Driver Services approved driver’s education course and additional requirements in one of four methods:
- 30 hours of classroom instruction, 6 hours behind-the-wheel training, and 40 hours of parent/guardian-supervised driving (6 of those hours at night).
- 30 hours of classroom instruction and 40 hours of behind-the-wheel training taught by a parent.
- 30 hours of online instruction, 6 hours behind-the-wheel training, and 40 hours of parent/guardian-supervised driving (6 of those hours at night).
- 30 hours of online instruction and 40 hours of behind-the-wheel training taught by a parent.
The Importance of Joshua’s Law
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, car accidents are the leading cause of injury deaths in the state. The Georgia car accident attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates, list the top causes of car collisions as, distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and speeding. These leading causes are completely avoidable and Joshua’s Law helps to combat this by educating new drivers on safe driving habits.
Instilling safe driving habits in your child early on by setting a good example is important to do. Staying up-to-date on new traffic rules and laws is also important and there’s some simple steps you can take to avoid some of the leading causes of car accidents.
- Don’t drive distracted.
Distracted driving is the number one cause of motor vehicle accidents and can be preventable. Refrain from eating, texting, and fumbling with the radio while driving.
- Don’t drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Drunk and drugged driving are extremely dangerous and come with hefty consequences. If convicted of a DUI in Georgia, you could be fined up to $1,000 and spend up to 12 months in jail.
- Follow the speed limit.
Speed limits are put in place for a reason. Simple enough, following the speed limit can save lives.
Joshua’s Law is an important part of educating teen drivers on the rules and regulations of the road, as well as instilling safe driving behaviors that can be life-saving.