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Q

If you live in Ohio how many people can you have in your car if you are 17?


A

According to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) probationary driver license holders under the age of 17 are not permitted to operate a motor vehicle with more than one person who is not a family member in the vehicle, unless accompanied by the license holder's parent, guardian, or legal custodian.

In OH probationary driver license holders between 17 and 18 years of age are restricted from driving between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. unless the holder is accompanied by a parent or guardian, with the following exceptions: an emergency situation, driving to or from a school activity, or driving to or from work. Travel to or from work is permitted provided the teen has written documentation from the employer.

So it appears that if you were 16 and had a probationary license you could only have one passenger or occupant in the car that was not a family member unless you had your parent in the vehicle as a supervising adult. However at age 17 if you have a probationary license, not just a permit, it seems that this restriction is lifted. The number of vehicle occupants though is still limited to the total number of originally installed safety belts. All occupants must be wearing safety belts when the vehicle is being driven by a probationary license holder per OH law. This applies to all TIPIC holders and licensed drivers under age 18.

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Studies conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have shown that one passenger doubles the risk of a fatal crash among teen drivers, two passengers triple the risk, and three or more passengers increase the risk by more than six. That is why Ohio and several other states have passenger restrictions in place for their graduated driver license (GDL) programs.

To read more about the conditions and restrictions of a permit holder and probationary driver's license holder in Ohio you can go to the BMV site or read through sections of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC). ORC sections 4507.05 and 4507.071 specifically address the graduated driver licensing (GDL) process and conditions associated with the GDL types.

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