Americans in Support of Teen Licensing Legislation

A new survey has revealed that the majority of Americans believe that the government should standardize state programs that delay full licensure of teen motorists. According to the survey, conducted by Allstate Insurance, most adults believe teens are bad drivers and need additional time to practice before being given full driving rights.

GDL Programs Are Making a Difference

The study found that most adults fully agree with graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs. These programs are said to lessen the risk of auto accidents by requiring teens to gain experience in supervised and low-risk conditions before being issued their full licenses.

Existing programs around the country require teen drivers to pass through three licensing stages before being granted full driving privileges:

  • A supervised learner’s permit
  • An intermediate license only granted if the driving test is passed
  • A full license only if the first two phases are completed

Experts say the programs make a significant difference in accident rates since it gives teens additional time to practice in real yet safe conditions. The only problem is that GDL programs vary significantly between states. This is prompting lawmakers to look into a uniform standard that all states will need to follow.

Lawmakers Seek Uniform Standards in GDL Laws

Federal legislation has already been introduced this year that could standardize GDL programs. One piece of legislation is known as the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection (STANDUP) Act. It would require states to meet a minimum national standard for GDL programs in order to receive full federal highway funding.

Another piece of legislation being considered is tied to funding for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It will also include benchmarks for state GDL laws.

Both laws would set aside $22 million in grants for each of the next two years. This would beef up GDL standards while setting aside money to administer teen traffic safety programs, publish information about new GDL laws and train state officials.

While the programs are being set up, it’s important for parents to ensure their families are safe by teaching them to drive responsibly and taking time to insure teens who will be behind the wheel.