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Teens register stunning improvement in driving ability

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In a stunning reversal of statistics, the state of Massachusetts has experienced a 50 percent drop in teenaged drivers involved in crashes, in just six years.

The statistics were made public today by Boston's CBS Radio outlet, WBZ-AM radio and the Registry of Motor Vehicles, the Massachusetts version of most state Departments of Motor Vehicles.

n a stunning reversal of statistics, the state of Massachusetts has experienced a 50 percent drop in teenaged drivers involved in crashes, in just six years.

The statistics were made public today by Boston's CBS Radio outlet, WBZ-AM radio and the Registry of Motor Vehicles, the Massachusetts version of most state Departments of Motor Vehicles.

Registry of Motor Vehicles

Heading the Registry, Registrar Rachael Kaprelian told the CBS affiliate that the department was encouraged by the improvement in teen accident statistics.

She attributed them to various changes in the state's Motor Vehicle Code that doubled the time a student had to spend training in a vehicle to six weeks. This change to the law was about three years ago.

Kaprelian went on to say that the other major changes to the law, doubling the amount of class time a teen needed to study before he or she could schedule a test for a Learner's Permit, a teen's next step in obtaining the licensing, had a positive effect, as well.

The extra class time gave the student driver more overall confidence and made him or her a better driver overall because of the extra training.

Changes working out

As noted, Kaprelian said, the state's motor vehicle division was pleased with the results. There are few enough things improving and having a 50 percent driving improvement in both motor vehicle accidents and in another category, accidents involving injuries or fatalities, the Registrar noted.

Kaprelian also concluded that the ban on teens using cellphones and the state's outright ban on texting while driving was having a positive effect as there were fewer teen accidents and fewer fatalities. She noted that teens were now able to concentrate on driving and not have to face distracted driving because of the ban on cellphones and texting. The outright ban on texting while driving – which could lead to large fines and tickets, the Registrar noted – applies to all drivers.

WBZ noted that the improvement in driving statistics comes at a time when the number of teen drivers has also dropped by about 25 percent.

Heading the Registry, Registrar Rachael Kaprelian told the CBS affiliate that the department was encouraged by the improvement in teen accident statistics.

She attributed them to various changes in the state's Motor Vehicle Code that doubled the time a student had to spend training in a vehicle to six weeks. This change to the law was about three years ago.

Kaprelian went on to say that the other major changes to the law, doubling the amount of class time a teen needed to study before he or she could schedule a test for a Learner's Permit, a teen's next step in obtaining the licensing, had a positive effect, as well.

The extra class time gave the student driver more overall confidence and made him or her a better driver overall because of the extra training.

Changes working out

As noted, Kaprelian said, the state's motor vehicle division was pleased with the results. There are few enough things improving and having a 50 percent driving improvement in both motor vehicle accidents and in another category, accidents involving injuries or fatalities, the Registrar noted.

Kaprelian also concluded that the ban on teens using cellphones and the state's outright ban on texting while driving was having a positive effect as there were fewer teen accidents and fewer fatalities. She noted that teens were now able to concentrate on driving and not have to face distracted driving because of the ban on cellphones and texting. The outright ban on texting while driving – which could lead to large fines and tickets, the Registrar noted – applies to all drivers.

WBZ noted that the improvement in driving statistics comes at a time when the number of teen drivers has also dropped by about 25 percent.

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