What Are The Changes To Joshua’s Law?

Effective July 1st, 2021 all 17-year-olds in Georgia applying for a Class D driver’s license or motorcycle permit must meet Joshua’s Law requirements in the same manner that 16-year-olds already do.

WHAT IS JOSHUA’S LAW?

Senate Bill 226, also known as Joshua’s Law passed in 2005 in the Georgia House and Senate and went into effect in 2007. This teen driver law is actually pretty simple and its requirements keep new and inexperienced drivers safer on the road. It was named after Joshua Brown, a teen from Cartersville, GA who died from fatal injuries from a car accident. Joshua’s father wrote the law and has helped pass similar laws in 13 other states and three national teen driving bills.

WHAT ARE JOSHUA’S LAW REQUIREMENTS?

Under Joshua’s Law all new drivers under the age of 18 must do the following:

  • Hold a learner’s permit for 1 year and 1 day.
  • Complete a certified 30-hour driver education course, in person or online, that is approved by the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
  • Complete a cumulative total of at least 40 hours of supervised driving experience, which must include at least 6 hours of nighttime driving.
  • Applicants must pass the road skills test with a minimum score of 75%.
  • A parent or guardian must be present when applying for the license at DDS.

WHERE CAN I COMPLETE A DRIVER EDUCATION PROGRAM?

The DDS-certified driver education courses are offered by various high schools, private driving school and approved online virtual programs. Classroom prices generally start at around $250 and the online classes tend to be lower in cost. You can find a list of approved schools here.

JOSHUA’S LAW HAS SAVED THOUSANDS OF LIVES

Teen driver fatalities in Georgia decreased by 60% since the law went into effect in 2007. That’s 181 lives saved per year. However, auto accidents are still the #1 leading cause of death among teens. It’s so important that we train our kids properly to stay safe on Georgia roads. As a parent you should make sure that your teens are following the Joshua’s Law requirements not just because it’s a law but because it may quite literally save their lives.

PARENTS ARE THE KEY TO SAFE TEEN DRIVERS

Parental supervision and daily engagement while teens learn how to drive safely are critical. It’s also important that parents and guardians of new drivers set a good example by:

  • Turning off the phone while driving
  • Observing the posted speed limits
  • Buckling up and always using a seatbelt
  • Watching out for pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Following the rules of the road

TEEN DRIVER CONTRACT

Work with your teen to set clear expectations and limits. You can download our Teen Driver Agreement prepared by personal injury attorney Bruce Hagen here.