Q: My son recently passed his test and received his G2 driver's licence and can now drive without a licensed driver in the car.
I have been told by friends that he is limited in the number of passengers he may carry. My son disagrees and says there is no such law. Could you please clarify who is correct and if it is me, what does the law say?
A: Once again the parent is correct. Perhaps the excitement and the anticipated freedom of being able to drive friends around without any supervision is merely wishful thinking. Several years ago, policing agencies - the coroner's office and road safety groups concerned over the rising number of multiple fatality accidents involving G2 drivers - appealed to the minister of transportation to tighten up the rules for G2 drivers when transporting passengers.
In a move designed to make Ontario's roads safer, G2 teenagers are now restricted in the number of young passengers they can carry between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m.
In the fist six months after receiving their G2 licence, drivers are allowed only one passenger aged 19 and under. After the first six months, or until G2 drivers attain the age of 20, they can carry up to three passengers aged 19 and under. The restrictions do not apply to G2 drivers who:
* are 20 years of age or over or,
* are teenage drivers being accompanied in the front seat by a person holding a full class 'G' licence with at least four years experience or,
* are carrying passengers that are immediate family members.
All too often we hear of unnecessary teen deaths due to tragic and preventable traffic accidents. While this particular law may be a bit complicated to remember, to best protect teenagers and their teenage friends it is important for parents and guardians to gain a full understanding of the G2 licence conditions, which also includes a zero alcohol level.
That means no alcohol whatsoever, not even a sip, taste or sample. Believe me, police officers have heard it all and sensitive roadside breathalysers will detect even the slightest amount of alcohol. Understanding the law is certainly the first step; the second step is to ensure the young folk comply with all the conditions.