New Laws For Iowa Teen Drivers - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

New Laws For Iowa Teen Drivers

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Letting your son or daughter behind the wheel can be a big step.

But now, the state of Iowa is limiting their responsibilities.

New laws will being going into effect on the first of the year that affects kids from 14-17.

The reason for the change?

The federal government ranks states on their safety laws and a spokesman from the Iowa DOT tells KWQC, Iowa has ranked near the bottom for several years. 

So changes are on the way.

Currently, 14 year-olds are able to get a learners permit.

This means they have to drive with a parent or adult at all times. 

This must be held for six months.

Now, that's getting moved up to a full year, so a young driver can experience all season of driving before being off on their own.

Assuming you stay crash free and don't have any violations, you can move up to an intermediate license at 16.

This means you can drive by yourself with very few restrictions. 

But not anymore.

After the new laws go into effect, these drivers will only be able to have one non-family member in the car with them. 

But even with more restrictions on the way - local teens seem to think the changes can't hurt.

"I think it's a good thing," says Selena Flores, a student at Central High School. "A lot of teens think driving is no big deal. And it really is. When I first started driving, it's crazy. Anything can happen at any moment. We need to be ready for it.

Marquis Hendricks, another Central student, agrees. 

"I feel driving involves a lot of freedom that I feel you should be entitled to earn. So if you have to earn your way up to a license, I guess that's a good thing."

If young drivers already hold these licenses, then these changes won't effect them. 

They will be able to graduate to the next steps without any delays. 

The new laws will only effect drivers apply for learners and intermediate licenses after January 1.