I work with elementary age children and at work yesterday one of the kids told me he couldn’t wait to be a teenager and get his driver’s license. He’s eight and can barely follow the directions to walk from the playground to our classroom without crashing into shelves, doors and other kids. The thought of him on the road scares the heck out of me! I was telling him that when he’s a teenager, he’ll have to follow all the driving laws as a driver.
Better Teen Driving Laws
Ironically, I just found a press release about better driving laws for teenagers, and I’m hoping they’re made into law by the time this child is on the road! On May 11th, The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (an alliance of consumer, health and safety groups and insurance companies and agents) urged Congress to pass legislation that will address teen motor vehicles crashes which is the #1 killer of teens in the U.S. The legislation will better teen driving laws in every state by adopting the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection (STANDUP) Act. (H.R.1515/S.528).
The STANDUP legislation has been introduced and awaits action in both Houses of Congress. The STANDUP Act requires every state to set 16 as the minimum age at which a beginning driver can obtain a learner’s permit, and age 18 to drive without any restrictions including the number of passengers allowed, cell phone use and night-time driving. Furthermore, the bill requires states to establish minimum standards and restrictions for the entire graduated driver licensing period or lose a percentage of federal highway funds after three years of incentive funding.
“STANDUP is a catalyst for protecting every teen in every state with the most effective graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws for beginning teen drivers,” said Judith Lee Stone, President of Advocates. “The best peer-reviewed research in our own country and across the world tells us that every state in the USA should have a comprehensive and fully-effective GDL law in place, including later licensing ages, and right now, most states have dangerous gaps in their laws. This nation generally allows its teens to drive at far younger ages than most other countries, and few states have the comprehensive and necessary elements of GDL laws that fully meet best practices for teen driving.”
Although I was eager to get my permit at 15 I can now fully appreciate having teenagers wait a little longer to get on the road. Want to keep your teen safer on the road? Consider a car for them with the Pulse™ system installed. It could save their life.