Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council congratulates the Iowa Senate on passage of Senate File 184, a lifesaving measure that helps reduce the number of teens who are injured and killed in crashes. NSC applauds Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and Senators Tod Bowman, Tom Rielly and Tim Kapucian for their involvement in passing SF 184. NSC now asks the Iowa House of Representatives to pass SF 184 and change the Graduated Driver Licensing system for Iowa teens. Other states that have made changes similar to SF 184 have seen a 20 to 40 percent reduction in crash risk.
SF 184 would implement a passenger restriction, limiting teen drivers to one unrelated minor passenger for the first 6 months after receiving their driver license. A 2010 study by the University of Iowa found that 79 percent of Iowa parents with 16- and 17-year-old drivers in their homes support this proposed passenger restriction.
SF 184 also would lengthen the instruction permit period for Iowa teens from 6 months to 12 months – another lifesaving move that will maximize a teen’s driving experience while minimizing risk. States with longer instruction permit periods have demonstrated reductions in teen driver crashes. The 2010 Iowa study found that 57 percent of Iowa parents of teen drivers support the 12-month instruction permit period.
About 3 out of every 5 teen driver crash fatalities in Iowa are passengers of the teen drivers, people in other vehicles or pedestrians. Iowa is one of only seven states without a passenger limit for novice drivers, despite the fact that each additional passenger in a car driven by a 16 year old nearly doubles the teen driver’s crash risk. The scientific evidence that SF 184 will save lives is clear. The National Safety Council urges Iowa legislators to heed the wishes of the majority of Iowa parents of teen drivers and support SF 184.
The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Learn more about GDL and teen driving at teendriving.nsc.org.