States Must Take Action To Address The Number One Killer Of American Teens: MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES
BY DR. LOUIS ALPERT
OMBUDSMAN ALERT quotes from Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety as follows:
“In recent weeks a number of states have taken aggressive action to curb teen use of vaping products in response to reports they may cause illness and death. This National Teen Driver Safety Week, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety(Advocates) calls upon state leaders and legislators to supply similar urgency to the number one killer of American teens: motor vehicle crashes:.Distraction, Impairment, Speeding and Seat Belt Non-Use are dangerous behaviors that become deadly when an inexperienced driver is behind the wheel. And, novice teen driver safety impacts all road drivers. In 2017 alone, 4,750 people died in crashes involving a younger driver(ages 15 to 20) according to the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
“A comprehensive graduated driver licensing(GDL) program in every state is key to reducing this tragic death and injury toll. Between 1996, when the first three-stage GDL was implemented in the U.S. and 2017, teenage crash deaths declined by 53 percent(from 5,819 to 2,734) according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety(IIHS). Yet, more can and should be done to improve GDL programs and curb the high number of teen driver crashes, deaths and injury.
Pending legislation in five states merit support including: California, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“While every state has at least one component of a teen GDL program, no state has all six essential provisions, as rated by Advocates’ 2019 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws as follows:
– 42 states missing a minimum age 16 for learner’s permit provision
-4 states missing a minimum six-month holding period provision(including our neighboring state of CT).
-24 states and DC missing a 50 hours of supervised driving provision(including
-nearby CT and NJ).
-39 states and DC missing an optimal nighttime driving restriction provision( including nearby CT, NJ and PA).
-32 states missing an optimal passenger restriction provision( including nearby PA)
-48 states and DC missing a minimum age 18 for unrestricted license provision( including NY as well as nearby CT and PA)
-19 states and DC missing an optimal GDL cell phone restriction provision(including NY and PA).”
OMBUDSMAN ALERT would like our NY teen motorists to observe National Teen Driver Week by urging them to comply with the above safety provisions and to request our New York state legislators, Senator David Carlucci and Assembly persons Ken Zebrowski and Ellen Jaffee to consider legislation in the two areas NY lacks in providing this essential protection for our driving teenagers!
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