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New State Law Bans New Drivers From Carrying Passengers For Six Months

Last updated on Thursday, June 11, 2009

(CARMEL) - Bans on cell phones and text-messaging and an increase in the minimum driving age got most of the attention.

But a fatal crash in Carmel draws attention to a less-talked-about part of a law taking effect July 1.

16-year-old Lilly Martyn died and two other teenagers were hospitalized with head injuries after a crash on Monday near the entrance to Carmel's central park.

A new state law bans drivers from carrying passengers for the first six months after they get their license.

Martyn had had her license less than a year, but apparently would have fallen just outside the six-month window even if the law had been in effect.

There are exceptions for family members, or if someone over 25 is in the car.

Bloomington Representative Peggy Welch says the goal is the same as for the cell phone ban: to give the least experienced drivers as few distractions as possible.

Welch says the law gives not only police but parents an additional tool to keep teenagers safe.

Carmel police are still investigating the crash, but say Martyn was going too fast.

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