A new national survey reveals broad support for restricting the driving privileges for teenagers in the name of safety.

The survey, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), queried 1,200 parents of 15-18 year olds, and found support for graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems, which keep teenagers on their learner’s permit longer. Indeed, more than half of the respondents said the minimum age for the unsupervised, or intermediate driving phase of GDL should be 17 or older. Likewise, the same number of respondents said they want the learner's permit period to last at least a year.

The numbers revealed even stronger backing of more stringent nighttime driving and passenger restrictions, with 90% of parents want a nighttime driving restriction and 89% wanting restrictions that would limit the number of non-family passengers allowed in vehicles.

The Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection (STANDUP) Act (H.R.1895 and S.3269), legislation that would enshrine many IIHS safety recommendations into national standards, is pending in the U.S. Congress.

“Lawmakers should take this survey into account as they look to strengthen graduated licensing systems at the state level and as they weigh a bill to create a federal model," Allan Williams, the study's lead author and former head scientist at IIHS, said in a statement. "Findings suggest many parents would accept licensing rules that go beyond the proposed STANDUP Act's provisions.”

 

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