CINCINNATI, OH (December 13, 2017) — Today, AAA, fellow traffic safety advocates, parents and teen drivers from across Ohio will gather to show support for House Bill 293. The Ohio House Transportation and Public Safety Committee is slated to hear proponent testimony for the "Young Driver Protection Bill". AAA is continuing to strengthen support for the legislation to protect the lives of teen drivers on Ohio roads by modernizing Ohio’s young driver licensing system. The bill's supporters include AAA, Ohio Parent Teachers Association (PTA), Nationwide Insurance, Ohio Health, and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.
HB 293, sponsored by Ohio House Representatives Gary Scherer (R) and Michael Sheehy (D) would make two important adjustments to protect teen drivers:
- Lengthen the Temporary Instruction Permit phase from six to 12 months.
- Begin supervised nighttime driving protections for novice teen drivers at 9 p.m., rather than midnight. (This is not a curfew – instead, supervised nighttime driving)
Research shows that shows that six months is not long enough for beginners to learn all they need to know. In fact 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.
“Teen drivers crash mostly because of their inexperience behind the wheel,” says AAA Senior Public Affairs Specialist, Jenifer Moore. “Humans learn complex skills by doing, rather than by being told. Knowing the rules and basic skills are necessary, but it’s not enough for a beginner to do well. Practical experience is essential for novice drivers.”
Renowned teen driver safety expert, Dr. Robert Foss, from the University of North Carolina will also testify before members of the Ohio House about risky teen driving behaviors and the growing teen driver crash problem in Ohio.
Last year in Ohio, 124 people lost their lives in crashes involving teen drivers. Crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States - ahead of all other types of injury, disease or violence. New teen drivers, ages 16-17, are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash, according to 2017 research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Supervised nighttime driving protections for newly licensed teen drivers protect them from the most dangerous driving conditions while they are still inexperienced and adjusting to driving without adult supervision. Ohio’s current limit is midnight, but 75 percent of Ohio’s young driver nighttime crashes occur between 9 p.m. and midnight. The adjustment helps ensure that newly licensed drivers develop the skills needed to deal with the risks associated with driving at night.
“These teen driver enhancements will not only protect teens behind the wheel, but all road users,” continued Moore.
The Ohio Parent Teachers Association (PTA), Impact Teen Drivers, Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, Ohio Health, the Ohio Public Health Association, Nationwide Insurance, State Farm Insurance, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, InAlign Partners, DRVN and others have joined AAA in support of this bill. AAA is working with additional traffic safety stakeholders to educate the community about the bill and overall teen driver safety.