DENVER — With students returning to the classroom across Colorado, that means drivers will experience a lot more traffic than they have in the summer months, as well as some young drivers commuting to school for the first time.
Denver Public Schools begins on Aug. 22, and several districts have already started back up. For many students, it will also be their first time regularly hitting the road after getting their licenses over the summer. Those young drivers have different rules of the road.
In Colorado, generally licensed drivers under 18:
1. Can't have passengers under the age of 21 for the first six months
2. Can only have one passenger under 21 in the six months after that
3. Can't use their cell phones while driving
Teens with a permit have to have an instructor or parents in the car with them.
Also, if a driver is under the age of 18, they have to abide by a curfew. Generally, they're not allowed to drive between midnight and 5 a.m. unless they have a guardian with them, among other rules.
Charles Lamonica, the owner of Mile High Driver Training in Denver, said the adult who's riding in the car should be ready to support the young driver.
"Work with them heavily during that first year with a permit because, let's face it, once they get a license, a parent's not going to be in the car with them," he said.
As school starts again, it's also important for seasoned drivers to be mindful of inexperienced drivers.
"I find it really difficult to change lanes, because I'm never, like, totally positive if it's safe to go. So that's something I'd like to work on," said Sophia Tanner, who is brushing up on her skills before heading off to college.
If parents ensure their teens are minding the special laws created for young drivers, it can help them be safer and even ease some of the fears about them being on the road.
"I raised six kids, and it's it's a nerve wracking thing when you have to let your child go into a car," Lamonica said.