COLUMBUS, Ohio (October 29, 2019) – Ohio has taken an important step today to protect young drivers. The Ohio House Transportation and Public Safety Committee voted to pass H.B. 106, the proclaimed “Young Driver Protection Bill,” sponsored by Reps. Gary Scherer and Michael Sheehy.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. New teen drivers, ages 16-17, are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash, according to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
A modern young driver licensing system is proven to reduce 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. In fact:
- Nearly 38,000 injuries and fatalities occurred in Ohio teen driver crashes during the past five years, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation crash statistics.
- That’s an average of 20 injuries and fatalities every day.
“This impacts all road users, as AAA Foundation research shows two thirds of those injured or killed in teen driver crashes are people other than the teen driver,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. “AAA applauds the Ohio House Transportation and Public Safety Committee for taking a stand to protect young drivers and make the roads safer for everyone.”
H.B. 106 would make Ohio’s roads safer by giving teens more time to gain additional behind the wheel training with an experienced adult driver, before they’re out on their own. The bill proposes two simple adjustments:
- Give teens a full year with their learner’s permit to practice driving in all seasons. (Research shows that 6 months is not long enough for beginners to learn all they need to know).
- Ensure newly licensed teen drivers experience more time driving at night with an adult driver by beginning supervised nighttime driving protections for novice teen drivers at 10 p.m., rather than midnight.
This was the fourth hearing for H.B. 106. During the previous three hearings several proponents have come forward to testify. The bill has had no opponents. It can now head to the House floor for a vote by the entire Ohio House of Representatives.
Efforts to modernize Ohio’s young driver licensing system started in 2016 when AAA organized the Ohio Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) coalition – a broad-based coalition, comprised of traffic safety advocates from across the state.
Supporters include AAA, Akron Children’s Hospital, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, Better Ohio Teen Drivers Inc., DRVN, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Nationwide Insurance, the National Safety Council, Ohio Health, Ohio PTA, Safe Kids Ohio, State Auto Insurance, State Farm Insurance and other advocates.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and nearly two and a half million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.