Hot Now: Graduated Driver Licensing Laws

traffic-yellowSouth Carolina needs improvement because of gaps in Advocates’ recommended optimal laws, as reported in the 2019 Roadmap Report.

Highway Safety Laws Needed

  • All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Law
GDL – Minimum Age 16 for Learner’s Permit
  • GDL- Stronger Supervised Driving Requirement
  • GDL – Stronger Passenger Restriction
  • GDL – Age 18 for Unrestricted License
  • Ignition Interlocks for All Offenders
  • GDL Cell Phone Restriction

Current Optimal Highway Safety Laws

  • Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Law (Front & Rear)
  • Rear Facing Through Age 2 Law
  • GDL – 6-Month Holding Period Provision
  • GDL – 30-50 Hours Supervised Driving Provision
  • GDL – Nighttime Driving Restrictoin
  • Child Endangerment Law
  • Open Container Law
  • All-Driver Text Messaging Restriction

*States are credited with having laws only if their laws meet Advocates’ optimal criteria

South Carolina Rating: Caution

In 2017, 134 people were killed in crashes involving young drivers in South Carolina.

The current GDL law in South Carolina includes the following components:

  • A three-stage licensing system beginning at age 15 for learner’s permit, age 15 years and 6 months for the intermediate stage, and age 16 years and 6 months for full licensure
  • A mandatory 6 month holding period for the learner’s permit stage
  • A minimum of 40 hours of supervised practice driving during the learner’s permit stage, at least 10 of which must be at night
  • A prohibition on unsupervised nighttime driving between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. (standard time) or 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. (daylight savings time) during the intermediate stage
  • A passenger restriction prohibiting more than two passengers younger than age 21 unless driving to or from school
  • A texting ban for all drivers (primary enforcement)

These changes are needed to improve South Carolina’s GDL law and meet optimal GDL provisions:

  • Require age 16 for entry into the learner’s permit stage
  • Extend all restrictions on teen drivers through age 17
  • Strengthen the passenger restriction to prohibit more than one non-familial passenger under the age of 21 unless a licensed driver over age 21 is in the vehicle, for the entire intermediate stage through age 17
  • Add a prohibition on non-emergency use of cell phones and other communications devices , including texting while driving, during the learner’s permit and intermediate stages

Want to help make South Carolina’s roads and highways safer?

Yes! I am interested in learning how to get involved with advocacy in my state.

My Name (required)

My Email (required)

My Phone (required)

My State (required)

My interest in Advocates (optional)

Please type the characters here and then click send