A study prepared by by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, gave Illinois high grades in all areas accept for teen drivers. The entire study was put together by a coalition of groups from the insurance industry, law enforcement and consumer organizations. It grades states on the passage of laws that address teen driving, distracted driving, drunk driving, seat belt use and motorcycle helmets.
Illinois did receive high marks for recent legislation, including its’ complete ban on texting while driving. Secretary of State Jesse White pushed for the graduated driver licensing programs for teens last year which increased driving time with parents, reduced nighttime driving and restricts the number of passengers in the teen’s car. Secretary White says we are seeing the difference with a 52% reduction in teen driving deaths.
“We’re proud what we’ve been able to do. There’s a lot more to be done. Even though we’ve been able to enjoy a 52 percent reduction in loss of lives, we want it to go down to zero,” said White.
To claim the top spot, advocates recommends the teen drivers start learning at 16. Currently, 15- year-olds can get a permit. Also, experts encourage reducing nighttime driving for teens even further to 10 p.m. on weekends too. Currently, it’s 11 p.m. on weekends.
It will be interesting to see if Illinois legislators pass a graduated license program for teens. Stay tuned.