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Junior Operator

Since 2006, Massachusetts has enhanced penalties for for speeding generally, and particularly for junior operators who get any type of traffic citation. A junior operator in Massachusetts has a Class M license from age 16.5 until age 18. The new laws have been effective in cutting down teen speeders by more than 60% since 2007. You can expect that Massachusetts state police will be aggressive in handing out speeders with a junior operator license.

Warning to Junior Operators and Their Parents

Many young drivers and their parents in Massachusetts do not know how severe the penalties are for speeding with a junior operator license.

The new laws in effect are largely a zero tolerance policy for unsafe driving committed by those with a junior operator’s license. A single speeding ticket for someone with a junior operator’s license will result in a 90 day suspension of your driver’s license. You also have to complete the State Courts Against Road Rage program, complete a driving retraining course, and pay a $500 fee to have your license reinstated.

Also, for violations over 10 MPH above the speed limit include $10 fines for every MPH over that threshold. There also is a $50 fee on top of it.

Note: Substantial legal fees apply for all Jr. operator matters minimum fee $4,500.00 and up. Below are the penalties that a junior operator faces in Massachusetts for getting a speeding ticket:

Junior operator speeding:

1st offense: 90 day suspension of driver’s license, and $500 fee to reinstate license. Driver also must complete registry program that encourages better driving. Also, must complete the state’s road rage program, and must retake the driving test.

2nd offense: 1 year suspension of driver’s license, plus $500 fee to reinstate license. Driver also must complete registry program that encourages better driving. Also, must complete the state’s road rage program, and must retake the driving test.

If you have learner’s permit and are cited for speeding:

1st offense: 90 day suspension of driver’s license, and $500 fee to reinstate license. Driver also must complete registry program that encourages better driving. Also, must complete the state’s road rage program, and must retake the driving test.

2nd offense: 1 year suspension of driver’s license, plus $500 fee to reinstate license. Driver also must complete registry program that encourages better driving. Also, must complete the state’s road rage program, and must retake the driving test.

Before 2006, young drivers who got a speeding ticket only got a fine, but now they face a 90 day suspension and a $500 reinstatement fee. It appears that the word about the very harsh penalties for junior operator speeders has gotten around, because there are not nearly as many cited today as in years past.

Remember that if your junior operator license has been suspended, you will need to apply for a hearing to have it reinstated. You will need to appear for that hearing at a state RMV hearing site.

Given the serious consequences of a speeding ticket for a junior operator, it is advisable to obtain a good traffic attorney to appeal the speeding ticket and suspension.

Other Offenses on Junior Operator License

The new laws in Massachusetts are mainly focused on preventing teenage drivers from speeding. However, there are other penalties that you should be aware of:

  • Junior Operator License Passenger Restriction: You may not operate a motor vehicle for the first six months with any passenger under 18 in the car, UNLESS the driver has a person in the car who is at least 21 years old, has a year of driving experience, has a valid license, and is seated next to the driver. A violation of this policy results in a 60 day license suspension and a $100 reinstatement fee.

Many teen drivers tend to shrug off the passenger restriction rule; after all, the police cannot tell for certain that the young driver is breaking the rules by just seeing the vehicle. However, remember that if you are pulled over for speeding, or worse, are in an accident, multiple violations add up quickly and can lead to a very long license suspension.

Young drivers often feel considerable peer pressure to break the passenger restriction rule. But if you are caught by the police, the consequences can be severe, especially when that violation is added on top of a speeding or other violation.

  • Junior Operator Hours Restriction: A junior operator cannot operate a motor vehicle from 12:30 AM until 5:00 AM, unless accompanied by a legal guardian or parent. The penalty for violating this policy is being charged with a criminal offense for being an unlicensed driver. You can be fined and your license can be suspended.
  • Except for reporting an emergency on the road, drivers under 18 may not use any electronic device – such as a cell phone or tablet – for any reason while they are operating a motor vehicle. For the first offense, the state will suspend your license for 60 days, and will require you to complete a driver retraining course and pay a $100 reinstatement fee. If you have a second conviction, you will receive a 180 day license suspension, and another $100 reinstatement fee. A third conviction results in a one year driver’s license suspension, and another $100 reinstatement fee.

Other moving violations, such as running stop signs, an expired inspection tag, seat belt violations, or failure to yield do not usually result in a license suspension. However, you should remember that all of these violations add up, and can quickly result in a license suspension for a junior operator.

Contact a Traffic Attorney Today

Having a driver’s license at a young age is important in America. Losing your license can cause you problems with family obligations, jobs, and even attending school or college. Our skilled, experienced traffic attorneys are available to help you deal with a potential speeding ticket or license suspension as a junior operator. The consultation is free, so please contact us today.