Earlier this week, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) published their August 2010 Status Report, which shares survey data gathered from parents across the country showing increased support for many provisions in H.R. 1895, the Safe Teen And Novice Driver Uniform Protection (STANDUP) Act. Delaware Congressman Mike Castle, who is an original cosponsor of the STANDUP Act, again called for its passage in light of these results.
"This study reaffirms the position of many Americans that there is more we can do to keep our roads safe and protect the lives of young drivers and all others who share the roads with them," said Rep. Castle. "While many states have followed Delaware's lead in implementing graduated drivers licensing, the STANDUP Act should be enacted to help young drivers gain the necessary experience behind the wheel as they develop their driving skills. Furthermore, the STANDUP Act would reduce the number of distractions to young drivers, as there are restrictions placed on the number of passengers, hours for driving, and non-emergency electronic device usage for those not yet fully licensed."
The STANDUP Act, based on successful programs already in place in Delaware, would require states to implement national graduated drivers licensing (GDL) standards and place restrictions on the amount of passengers in the vehicle, as well as the hours a novice driver can spend on the road. It would also prohibit the use of cell phones and other electronic communications devices while driving, except in emergency situations.
Rep. Castle has also joined Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO) in forming the Congressional Distracted Driving Awareness Caucus to increase awareness of the epidemic of distracted driving and propose solutions to keep distractions from needlessly putting people in danger.
Items of Interest from the IIHS Status Report:
* "Parents support older licensing and permit ages for beginners and tough restrictions on nighttime driving and passengers."
* "The crash rate per mile driven among 16-19 year olds is 4 times as high as for older drivers."
* "The best systems set 16 as the minimum age to get a learner's permit, and during this period, parents certify at least 30-50 hours of supervised driving. Intermediate licensure begins at 16 1/2 or older and lasts until at least 18 years old and includes both a night driving restriction starting at 9 or 10 pm and a rule prohibiting teen passengers, or allowing no more than 1 when teenagers drive supervised."
* "An Institute study and another by the affiliated Highway Loss Data Institute have found that delaying licensure reduces fatal crashed among 15-17 year old drivers and insurance collision claims among 16-year olds with licenses."