Getting To and Fro
Helmets and Bicycles
Did you know over 300,000 children are seriously injured each year while riding a bike without a helmet?
D.C. wants to prevent these types of tragedies. If you are under 16 years old, you MUST wear a helmet when you are riding a bike. The helmet must fit you properly, and it must be fastened. If you aren’t wearing your helmet, you could be fined $25. What’s more, if your parents know you aren’t wearing a helmet, they can be fined $25 also! So, if you are under 16 years old, be safe and always wear a helmet when you are riding a bicycle. D.C. Code Ann. § 50-1605 (2002).
If you are a teenager, chances are you can’t wait to get your license. There are two steps to having your driver’s license: the learner’s permit and the driving test.
You can get your learner’s permit when you are 16 years old. If you are enrolled in a driving course at your school, you might be able to start when you are 15! To obtain the permit, you must pay an application fee of $15 and you must take the driving exam. The driving exam is a written, closed-book test that will quiz you on traffic regulations. Once you get the learner’s permit, you are free to drive as long as someone over 21 years old is in the car with you. Also, you can only drive between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9 p.m. After you earn the learner’s permit, you have to wait 6 months until you can be eligible for a driver’s license.
If you are 17, and you have had a learner’s permit for 6 months, you can be a
licensed driver! Before you can get the official license, you need to have 10 hours of nighttime driving practice. Anyone over 21 years old with a valid driver’s license can perform the nighttime driving practice with you. Next, you have to take a practical exam at your local Division of Motor Vehicles Office. During this exam, you will have to drive a car with a DMV employee.
Other Important Information
- If you get a traffic ticket while you have your learner’s permit, you might not be able to get a driver’s license right away.
- Until you are 18 years old, you can NEVER drive with more than 2 passengers in the car.
- Remember, traffic cases are adult matters, so if you are arrested for a traffic violation you could be held at a D.C. jail overnight, even as a juvenile.
As the driver, YOU are responsible for everyone’s seat belts. That means if you friend isn’t wearing a seat belt while you are driving, YOU could get a ticket.