National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, DC -- National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark V. Rosenker praised the U.S. Senate for its passage of a resolution designating July 2007 as "National Teen Safe Driver Month."
The newly signed legislation, which is being observed by federal, state and local governments, encourages the development of resources to provide affordable, accessible and effective driver training for every teenage driver of the United States.
"By the Senate designating this month to teen driver safety, it highlights the importance the nation places on reducing the number of teen highway fatalities and injuries," Rosenker said. "The Safety Board believes accidents involving youths can by reduced by states implementing a graduated drivers license program for young drivers and preventing teens from using wireless communications devices while driving."
Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for 15- through 20-year-olds. In 2004, teen drivers constituted only 6.3 percent of licensed drivers, but were involved in 13.6 percent of all highway fatal crashes and 18 percent of all police-reported crashes.
Some of the recommendations made by the Safety Board regarding youth drivers include:
Enact laws to provide for a three-stage graduated licensing (GDL) system for young novice drivers, and restrict young novice drivers with provisional or intermediate licenses (second stage), unless accompanied by a supervising adult driver who is at least 21 years old, from carrying more than one passenger under the age of 20 until they receive an unrestricted license or for at least 6 months (whichever is longer). Every state has enacted some form of GDL legislation.
Enact legislation to prohibit holders of learner's permits and intermediate licenses from using interactive wireless communication devices while driving. Chairman Rosenker noted that Virginia enacted a new law on July 1, 2007 that prohibits teen drivers from using interactive wireless devices except in an emergency. Currently, 18 states have some form of restriction on youth drivers using wireless devices.
NTSB Media Contact:
Terry N. Williams
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.