Junior Operators: What is the Time Restriction Violation?
Nighttime. How does it apply to junior operators? Quite simply, it is a time when junior operators should be off the road. In Massachusetts, a time restriction violation is enforced. For junior operators, driving between 12:30 AM to 5:00 AM is illegal, and you can bet that the police do patrol the streets at night.
If a junior operator happens to be caught breaking the time restriction, his/her license will be suspended for 60 days and have to pay a $100 reinstatement fee. A second violation requires a 180-day suspension, the $100 reinstatement fee, and a Driver Attitudinal Retraining Course. A third offense will result in a license suspension for a full year, the $100 fee, and the Driver Attitudinal Retraining Course with a full exam. For more information on junior operator penalties, click here.
The chance that a junior operator driving during restricted hours will be caught is VERY HIGH. How many people drive around during those restricted hours anyway? A police officer is bound to notice, and will probably follow the car for a while. If said junior operator speeds, or if drives suspiciously slow, the cop will not hesitate to pull the car over.
Think about it. In retrospect, a 60-day suspension is two months without having a license. The latter penalties increasingly become much worse. Since junior operators are mainly high school students, two months without being able to bring themselves around and about will only contribute to a miserable summer or school year.
The chance of junior operators driving during nights increases during the summer months. Teens will sleep away the morning, and roam during all hours of the night. Be sure your junior operator does not roam the nights by driving a vehicle.
1. Plan ahead. Junior operators should be aware of their plans in advance so they know the appropriate timing for driving during permitted hours.
2. Provide extra time. If it takes 15 minutes to drive home from a friend's house, plan to leave 20-25 minutes prior to 12:30 to ensure that the time restriction is met.
3. Pack. If your teen loses track of time and cannot make it home by the restriction, be sure they have all his/her necessary night gear (PJ's, spare toothbrush, etc.) stowed away in the back or the trunk of the car.
4. Communicate. This is probably the most important tip. Since the restriction takes effect late at night, talk ahead of schedule about what to do if the time restriction passes. For example, have a pre-set agreement with your teen that if they cannot make it home before the restriction, he/she will have permission to sleep at a friend's house.