Editorial Board: Should teen drivers be 16 1/2 instead of 16 in Ohio to get their first driver’s license?

A legislative effort to make Ohio teens wait until age 16 1/2 to get their probationary (under 18) driver’s licenses is pending in the Ohio House. Substitute House Bill 293 was voted out of committee Feb. 28 on a bipartisan 11-3 vote. Besides adding an extra six months of required driving under a temporary permit, the bill would also redefine nighttime driving when a parent or guardian must be in the car to start at 10 p.m. rather than midnight.

No opponents came forward to testify against the bill and 12 proponents were heard from, including parents of teens killed in accidents, the head of the state PTA, some teens who would be affected, and representatives of the Ohio Conference of AAA Clubs, Nationwide Insurance and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.