Dorgan, Klobuchar introduce teen driving billSens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., introduced legislation meant to improve safety for teen drivers across the country.
Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., introduced legislation meant to improve safety for teen drivers across the country.
The Students Taking Action for Road Safety Act of 2010 (STARS Act) would support peer-to-peer education and prevention strategies in schools and communities to increase awareness among teens about the dangers facing new drivers, including drunk and distracted driving, speeding and failure to use seatbelts. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for more than one in three deaths in this age group.
“It is clear that improving teen driver safety will save lives. This legislation proposes an innovative and, what we believe will be very effective way to do that,” Dorgan said. “The nation’s youngest drivers have the highest rate of serious and tragic car accidents of all drivers on the road, so focusing on improving their attention to safety makes a lot of sense.”
“The road is one of the most deadly places for our teens,” Klobuchar said. “But irresponsible driving is not just dangerous for the teenagers behind the wheel – it is dangerous for everyone who’s on the road. The STARS Act will help bring together law enforcement, educators, and local communities to give our teen drivers the tools they need to become responsible drivers and make our roads safer.”
The STARS Act provides a program that will enable states to launch initiatives to increase teen driver safety. States will also be able to share best practices and programs through the creation of a national teen driving safety clearinghouse and technical assistance center. Additionally, the bill establishes a National Teen Driver Advisory Council to study and report on education and prevention strategies designed to reduce injuries and fatalities among teen drivers.
This legislation is supported by Students Against Destructive Decisions.
“I am so thankful that Senator Klobuchar and Senator Dorgan recognize the value of teens across the nation speaking out to help their peers make safer choices. Teen leaders can be a very powerful force in shaping the behavior of their fellow students. We need all the help we can get to help teens make good decisions. Parents, teachers and law enforcement all have an important role to play, but we must empower teens themselves to help shape the behavior of their fellow students. This bill is a great step in educating the public about the tragedy of teen driver fatalities and the power of students in implementing safety programs. Senator Klobuchar deserves great credit for her leadership on this issue,” said SADD Executive Director Penny Wells.
Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass., has introduced companion legislation in the House.