Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council applauds Congress for including safety provisions in the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill to incentivize states to enact distracted driving and teen driving laws. According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use is involved in nearly 24% of all crashes. Additionally, crashes are the leading killer of teens in the U.S. and strong teen driving laws are proven to save lives.
“We are grateful to see that Congress has taken action to reduce distracted driving and to help protect our youngest, most inexperienced drivers,” said president and CEO of the National Safety Council, Janet Froetscher. “This bill will help states make roadways safer. We’ve seen the effectiveness of state incentives with other traffic safety issues, such as impaired driving and primary seat belt laws. We are confident that incentives will provide encouragement to state legislators to enact distracted driving and teen driving laws that will reduce crashes. I would especially like to thank Senator Jay Rockefeller, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Representative Tim Bishop, and Representative Randy Hultgren for championing these critical life-saving provisions. We also are grateful to Senator Barbara Boxer, Congressman John Mica and Senator James Inhofe for their leadership of the Conference Committee and the bipartisan effectiveness they instilled.”
The bill includes a $13 million incentive grant program to encourage states to adopt best practice elements of a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system, which gradually introduces teens to driving by phasing in full driving privileges over time in lower risk settings. The legislation also includes a $23 million distracted driving grant program to provide incentive funding to states that adopt laws prohibiting texting by drivers of all ages and cell phone use by teen drivers. The bill also includes funding for distracted driving research.
About the National Safety CouncilFounded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact -- distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety and safety beyond the workplace.