Teen Driving Safety
Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of American teens. On average, more than 10 teens are killed in the United States each day as a result of motor vehicle crashes. In 2009 alone, more than 5,600 people lost their lives in crashes involving young drivers ages 15 to 20. More than 2,300 of these deaths were young drivers, and more than 1,400 were passengers of young drivers. Since 2000, nearly 81,000 people have been killed in the United States as a result of crashes involving teen drivers.
Advocates supports the enactment of a federal teen driving bill, the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act, or the STANDUP Act. STANDUP Act bills were introduced in the House and the Senate in the first few months of the 112th Congress, H.R. 1515 and S. 528.
The STANDUP Act would require states to enact minimum standards for Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws through incentive grants followed by modest penalties for states that do not take advantage of the incentive grants. A broad coalition supporting the effort has been established including over 150 groups representing the major consumer, health, safety, and medical organizations as well as representatives from the insurance and auto industries. In July 2011, the bill gained the endorsement of two former U.S. DOT Secretaries, Elizabeth Dole (1983-1987) and Norman Mineta (2001-2006), who wrote a joint letter to Congressional leaders urging passage of the STANDUP Act.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a sponsor of the STANDUP Act, speaks at a press conference announcing the bill's introduction in March 2011 surrounded by lawmakers and parents who have lost children in teen crashes.
For more information about GDL laws and the STANDUP Act, please visit the SafeRoads4Teens Coalition.