Thursday, 6 May 2010

New Bill Proposes Federal Standards for Teen Driver Licenses

Los Angeles personal injury lawyers believe that stricter Graduated Driver License (GDL) laws help promote teen motorist safety, reducing the numbers of injuries and fatalities in these accidents. A new bill will seek to establish stricter and uniform federal standards for state GDL programs.

The bill is called the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act. Its promoters are Democratic Senators Kirsten Gillebrandt , Chris Dodd, and Amy Klobuchar. The bill proposes to raise the minimum age at which a person can receive a learner’s permit, to 16 years. Currently, many states allow a person to receive a learner's permit at the age of 14 or 15. The bill also raises the minimum age for receiving an unrestricted driver's license to 18 years. The bill would also contain a provision that would block highway funds to states that do not implement the law after three years.

It's no secret that states that adopt tougher laws towards teen driving have fewer injury and fatality rates in accidents involving teen motorists. States like North Dakota that have weak teen motorist laws, have a much higher rate of injuries and fatalities in teen-related accidents than states like New Jersey. In that state, there has been a substantial drop in the numbers of such injuries and fatalities, since the state enacted stricter GDL programs. New Jersey in fact, has kept up the momentum by passing a law requiring motorists with learner’s permits to paste identifying decals on their cars.

Any time there is talk of making Graduated Driver License laws tougher, there is outrage from young drivers. That isn't so surprising to Los Angeles car accident attorneys. The National Youth Rights Association has strongly objected to the bill, calling it a “horrible idea.” That isn’t exactly a shocker, considering that this group is a strong advocate for the lowering of the minimum age for alcohol consumption. However, the lack of outright support from the Governors’ Highway Safety Association and other safety agencies has been odd. The GHSA claims that it objects to the provision that would cut off highway funding to states that do not implement the Act.

Ultimately, it's not just teen motorists and their families who will benefit from these laws, but also the millions of people who share the roads with young drivers every year.

No comments:

Post a Comment