Question: I have a question about auto insurance / provisional license. My daughter’s 16-year-old friend was arrested last week by police in Laguna Beach for driving with her lights out. When the officer checked his driver’s license, he realized the driver was 16 with a provisional license, driving three teenagers under 20, including my daughter.
Marci Weinberg, Tustin
A: Which is against the law for good reason. No driver under the age of 18 may carry other teenagers during the first year they are licensed, unless a licensed driver 25 years of age or older is in the car. So what did the cop do?
Question: He took the three children out and warned the driver. Our daughter knows she’s not supposed to drive with someone with just a provisional license.
Unfortunately for my daughter, my husband and I witnessed all of this just outside a restaurant where we were eating, and she wasted time with her friends because she lied to us about the way she came home. At her place. We are trying to understand why all the parents of his friends allow their children with provisional licenses to drive children under the age of 20 or why they let their children be passengers in cars with provisional licenses.
My daughter said, “I don’t understand why you are the only parents who are so strict about this. “
A: I wish more parents were like you.
Question: Apart from the obvious safety concerns, we assumed that if a driver with a provisional license is involved in a at-fault accident, auto insurance becomes null and void because the driver breaks the law. Can you confirm that, please?
Marci Weinberg, Tustin
A: I turned to my longtime insurance agent who told me:
“They sound like good parents because they ask a really good question. They can be covered. Unless the child is specifically excluded from the policy, some carriers will cover it. Other policies state that NO ONE is covered except the listed driver. They should call their agent and ask if their child will be covered if they are driving with a license and driving the car without your knowledge.
Now it’s my turn to speak. We had a terrible accident in the Bay Area over Christmas in which three 16-year-olds were killed when the 16-year-old driver lost control and left a twisty road. What must be done to ensure that teens and their parents obey the law?
First, have a pre-driving discussion with your child. Emphasize the purpose of the law and your support. Also talks to the parents of his friends. Talk to them about the law and be firm on your feelings. Let your teen know you’re going to do it.
Remember, the driver did not turn on her headlights. The cop may have avoided a tragedy.