Federalizing a GDL Law Could Mean Reducing Teen Car Accidents in New York

August 25, 2011
By Ronai & Ronai, LLP on August 25, 2011 3:25 PM |

Not only are members of Congress looking to standardize Graduated Driver's License Programs nationwide with the proposal of STANDUP Act 2011, but so are two former U.S. Department of Transportation secretaries, reports WFLX.

Two former Transportation Cabinet Officials, Elizabeth H. Dole (1983-1987) and Norman Y. Mineta (2001-2006) prepared and signed letters to Congressional leaders urging enactment of the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act as part of a movement to reduce teen car accidents in New York and throughout the country. Creating consistency statewide would ensure young and novice drivers are being trained and gaining knowledge about safe driving behaviors before they venture out on roadways alone.
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New York personal injury lawyers know that more than 5,000 deaths occur every year and thousands more are injured in car crashes caused by a teen driver. Not only are teens at risk but so are the passengers who ride with them, other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

As committees of the House and Senate are busy preparing their versions of multi-year transportation legislation authorizing funding for surface transportation programs, they are urged to consider the following points of the STANDUP Act as part of their proposal:


  • GDL laws have proven to be successful in reducing teen car accidents in states with strong programs but some states are missing key components that would improve teen driver safety.

  • Similar to the commercial driver's licensing law, 21 minimum drinking age law, zero tolerance BAC law for underage drinking, and .08 BAC law mandated from state to state, the STANDUP Act can reduce young driver accidents and reverse the negative threat these accidents have on our families and communities nationwide.

  • All states would be required to impose three stages of licensing: a learner's permit, intermediate phase and the final full licensure stage.

  • No young driver would be permitted to get a full license before age 18.

  • Many teen-related crashes occur at night or with another young passenger in the vehicle so unsupervised driving in the dark and teen passengers would be restricted until a full license is acquired at age 18.

  • No teen would be permitted to start the learner's permit process until age 16.

New York State Department of Motor Vehicles offers lots of useful information for parents and teens starting the learning to drive process. From regional restrictions to parental involvement to age requirements, everything you need to know about getting a driver's license in New York is at your fingertips.

Parents and teens can also obtain detailed facts and information for young drivers at Keys2Drive AAA Guide for Teen Driver Safety.

Studies have shown that 89 percent of teens respect their parent's involvement and influence during the process of learning to drive. Teach your teen to be a safe driver in order to reduce the risk of an accident when they start to drive solo.

The injury lawyers at Ronai & Ronai, LLP are dedicated to compensating victims and their families injured in car accidents in Manhattan, Westchester or Stamford, CT. If you have been injured in New York City of the surrounding areas, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-800-664-7111.

Additional Resources:

Enforcement and Awareness of Distracted Driving Laws Reduces the Risk of Car Accidents in Manhattan, Elsewhere, New York Injury Lawyer Blawg, July 21, 2011

Universal Campaign Aimed at Reducing Traffic Fatalities in New York City Car Accidents, New York Injury Lawyer Blawg, May 23, 2011