AAA is leading Efforts to Make Ohio’s Roads Safe for Young Drivers

AAA is among proponents preparing to take a stand to support Ohio’s Young Driver Protection Bill.

In a press release issued by AAA, officials explain supporters for HB 293, the proclaimed ‘Young Driver Protection Bill,” sponsored by Representatives Gary Scherer and Michael Sheehy, will gather for proponent testimony in front of the Ohio House Transportation and Public Safety Committee.

Officials note those supporting the bill through written or oral testimony include

AAA, Ohio PTA, Nationwide, Ohio Health, DRVN, parents of teen drivers, and a teen driver.  In addition, renowned teen driver safety expert, Dr. Robert Foss, from the University of North Carolina will be in town to speak with the legislature about teen driver risks and how to address them as they consider efforts to address the growing teen driver crash problem in Ohio.

AAA officials argue that HB 293 would make Ohio’s roads safer for teens, and everyone who shares the roads with them by making two small but important adjustments:

  • Lengthening the Temporary Instruction Permit phase from six to 12 months. (Research shows that 6 months is not long enough for beginners to learn all they need to know).
  • Beginning supervised nighttime driving protections for novice teen drivers at 9 p.m., rather than midnight.  (This is not a curfew – instead, supervised nighttime driving).

“These protections for newly licensed drivers protect them from dangerous driving conditions and inexperience,” said Theresa Podguski, AAA East Central’s Director of Legislative Affairs.  “We are proud to support HB 293, which will help to curb deadly crashes involving new teen drivers.”

Crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States.  New teen drivers, ages 16-17, are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash, according to recent research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  Moreover, nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen driver.

A modern young driver licensing system is a proven effective strategy for reducing teen driver crashes.  Unfortunately, Ohio’s licensing system hasn’t kept up with the latest research.  As a result, young driver crashes in Ohio remain high and have increased.  In 2016, 8,300 injuries and fatalities occurred in Ohio teen driver crashes – a 15 percent increase from 2014.

Michaela Madison Reporting

(Photo-AAA East Central)

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