Nevada considers allowing 14-year-old drivers in more places
LAS VEGAS — Nevada lawmakers are considering allowing more 14-year-olds to drive under a measure backed by an assemblywoman who said that if young drivers are allowed in rural places they should also be allowed in cities.
The change could give students a way to get to class, including at charter schools, Assemblywoman Alexis Hansen, R-Sparks, told the Las Vegas Sun .
Hansen said she’s not advocating “giving car keys to babies.”
Her measure, Assembly Bill 53, faces a first hearing Thursday at the Assembly Committee on Growth and Infrastructure in Carson City.
It would expand Department of Motor Vehicles authority to grant restricted licenses to 14- to 18-year-olds in counties with fewer than 55,000 residents or towns with less than 25,000 people where the school district doesn’t provide transportation.
Hansen said there are currently 45 students statewide with such restricted licenses.
Drivers statewide can currently get a learner’s permit at age 15 1/2, requiring them to have a passenger who is 21 with at least a year of driving experience.
Nevada is among a handful of states that allow drivers with learner’s permits as young as 15, including South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. South Dakota allows learners at age 14 and issues restricted licenses at 14 1/2.
Assemblyman Chris Edwards, R-Las Vegas, a co-sponsor of the Nevada bill, said it would meet a need in certain communities and said he’s willing to let younger drivers prove themselves.
Hansen told the Sun there should be consequences for youngsters who violate license restrictions, including the loss of their license until they turn 18.