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Supporting the Goals and Ideals of National Teen Driver Safety Week

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


SUPPORTING THE GOALS AND IDEALS OF NATIONAL TEEN DRIVER SAFETY WEEK -- (House of Representatives - September 05, 2007)

Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 165) supporting the goals and ideals of National Teen Driver Safety Week.

The Clerk read the title of the concurrent resolution.

The text of the concurrent resolution is as follows:

H. Con. Res. 165

Whereas motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults in the United States, and many of these deaths are preventable;

Whereas almost 7,500 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 years were involved in fatal crashes in 2005 throughout the United States;

Whereas the fatality rate in the United States for drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 years, based on miles driven, is 4 times the fatality rate for drivers between the ages of 25 and 69 years;

Whereas the majority of teen driver crashes in the United States are due to driver error and speeding, and 15 percent of the crashes are due to drunk driving;

Whereas roughly two-thirds of the teenagers killed in motor vehicle accidents in the United States each year do not use seatbelts;

Whereas approximately 63 percent of teen passenger deaths in the United States occur while other teenagers are driving;

Whereas it is necessary to explore effective ways to reduce the crash risk for young drivers by focusing research and outreach efforts on areas of teen driving that show the most promise for improving safety;

Whereas the National Teen Driver Survey, developed with input from teenagers and administered by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, demonstrates a national need to increase overall awareness about the safe use of electronic handheld devices, the risk of nighttime and fatigued driving, the importance of consistent seatbelt use, and the

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practice of gradually increasing driver privileges over time as a young driver gains more experience under supervised conditions;

Whereas in 2005, 1,553 crash fatalities involving a teen driver occurred in the fall, when teenagers are in the first months of the school year and faced with many decisions involving driving, including whether to drive with peer passengers and other distractions; and

Whereas designating the third week of October as National Teen Driver Safety Week is expected to increase awareness of these important issues among teenagers and adults in communities throughout the United States, as additional research is conducted to develop and test effective interventions that will help teenagers become safer drivers; Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--

(1) supports the goals and ideals of National Teen Driver Safety Week; and

(2) encourages the people of the United States to observe the week with appropriate activities that promote the practice of safe driving among the Nation's licensed teenage drivers.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Welch) and the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Westmoreland) each will control 20 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Vermont.

GENERAL LEAVE

Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Vermont?

There was no objection.

Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

As a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I'm pleased to join my colleagues in the consideration of H. Con. Res. 165, which supports the goals and ideals of National Teen Driver Safety Week.

This resolution, which has 55 cosponsors, was introduced by Representative Charles Dent on June 6, 2007. The resolution was reported from the Oversight Committee on July 19, 2007, by a voice vote.

Madam Speaker, road crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers. These crashes are more common among young drivers than among any other age group, with one in four crash fatalities in the United States involving young people from the ages of 16 to 24.

The first 6 months after a teenager receives his or her license, he or she is especially at high risk of being in a car accident. Unfortunately, this risk stays relatively high until the young driver reaches 25.

In an effort to improve road safety and reduce crashes among young people, the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the State Farm Insurance Company codeveloped a multiyear teen center research initiative to help young drivers develop safe, smart driving behaviors and skills.

Madam Speaker, I commend my colleague Mr. Dent from Pennsylvania for seeking to support the goals and ideals of National Teen Driver Safety Week, and I urge the swift passage of this bill.

Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.


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