La Jolla Teen Accident Raises Questions about Licenses

The family of the teenage driver is being sued for reckless driving

A passenger who was injured when an SUV packed with teens crashed in La Jolla has filed a lawsuit.

The family of the teenage driver is being sued for reckless driving.

The accident, which involved 16 teens inside one vehicle, is raising questions about California’s provisional driver's licenses.

“The reason there are provisional licenses is because teenagers take more risks than adults,” said Lt. Julian Faulkner with the San Diego Sheriff's’s Department’s Traffic Division.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the following rules apply to drivers under 18 for the first year they have a license:

  • Cannot drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Cannot have passengers under age 20 unless accompanied by a licensed driver over 25

Connie Tucker, owner of A Affordable Driving School, says the rules provide a safeguard for new drivers.

“You need that time to develop your skills,” Tucker said. “When you have your friends in the car when you’re that young, it’s just a bit of a distraction.”

Tucker says many parents don’t know the rules of a provisional driver's license.

“You as a parent need to take the time to find out what the rules are yourself, and they’re very clear,” she said. “There’s a parent-teen handbook that the DMV offers freely at every DMV. You can go online.”

There are many consequences for violating provisional license rules, including losing the driver’s license.

The Sheriff’s Department has a program called Start Smart, where deputies go to schools and talk to students and parents about safe driving.

The accident happened late at night Saturday, Oct. 26 on Muirlands Vista Way in La Jolla. Five teenagers were taken to the hospital.

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