National Transportation Safety Board
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National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Ellen Engleman Conners will testify before the Environmental Matters Committee of the Maryland House of Delegates on proposals to strengthen Maryland's teen driving laws on February 9, 2005, in Annapolis.
"Highway crashes involving young drivers will remain a serious and persistent problem unless concrete and comprehensive steps are taken. Our young people are this Nation's most valuable resource, one that must be nurtured and protected. Too many of them are being killed and injured unnecessarily," said Chairman Engleman Conners.
More than 90 percent of all transportation-related deaths each year result from highway crashes; a disproportionate number of these crashes involve teen drivers age 15 through 20. About 40 percent of all deaths among this age group involve traffic accidents which makes traffic crashes the leading cause of death for this age group, ahead of suicides and drugs. In 2003, Maryland teens made up less than 6 percent of the driving population, but constituted almost 12 percent of the drivers involved in fatal crashes; almost 20 percent of the deaths on Maryland roads occurred in crashes involving teen drivers.
Chairman Engleman Conners will be testifying on behalf of Safety Board recommendations to strengthen Maryland's graduated licensing system. These include lengthening the minimum holding period for the learner's permit, and adding restrictions on passengers and cell phone use for drivers in the intermediate phase.
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.