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Wednesday, January 12, 2011


The STANDUP Act - GDL Laws
The STANDUP Act, which is short for the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act is an act that aims to standardize Graduated Driver Licensing programs in all 50 states. Its reasoning: to not only keep new teen drivers safe, but to keep all motorists safe as well.

It lists down certain requirements for states to follow, such as:
  • Making the Graduated Driver Licensing program a 3-stage licensing process, with full licensure granted at age 18
  • Strict enforcement of curfew for nighttime driving for drivers in the first two stages
  • Passenger restriction to only 1 (under the age of 21) that is not immediate family, unless under supervision by an adult driver
  • Zero usage of electronic communication devices, be it hand-held or hands-free
  • Minimum age for learner’s permit license (stage 1) should be 16, while the minimum age for full license should be 18

Of course this includes that the state has required drivers at least 30 hours of supervised driving and that licensure delays are to be allowed if the new driver commits an offense.

Further studies have proven that stronger GDL laws reduce the number of teen driver-related crashes in the last few years. This is also an indicator of how are times are changing: an emphasis on GDL laws is clearly required in some states more than others.

The act also has separate sections for what happens when states comply with the proposal: an incentive grant will be received by that state after 3 fiscal years of enforcement, while a withholding of state funds for federal highway construction could be imposed for states that don’t follow suit.

As of this writing, the proposed STANDUP Act is still up to the House, Congress and Senators. Concerned citizens who are for this (which a majority of people are) could send a message to their local officials showing their support for it passing. Imagine a future with this in place, where teen crashes are virtually unheard of, and parents can sleep well at night.

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