Mandating graduated driver’s licenses nationwide

    The STANDUP Act would require state’s to establish a graduated driver’s license system or else lose federal highway funding.

    As highway safety officials gear up for the busy holiday travel season, they’re also trying to improve safety on the roads through federal legislation called the STANDUP Act (Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act).

    The bill was introduced by Delaware Congressman Mike Castle earlier this year.  It would require states to adopt a graduated driver’s license system similar to what is in place in Delaware.  “Delaware has pretty close to what the new federal law would be now in effect, and it’s worked well in our state.  We hope to see it work well in the other 49 states as well.”

    Andrea Summers with the state Office of Highway Safety says before Delaware implemented the graduated driver’s license, 16-year-old drivers were responsible for more than 1,000 crashes a year.  Last year, there were little more than 400 accidents involving 16-year-old’s behind the wheel.

    Under the graduated license system, teens would be able to get a learner’s permit at 16, a restricted license at 17, and a full license at 18.  The mandate to states would work similar to the way the federal government mandated that state’s lower their legal blood alcohol content level to .08.  Federal highway construction and repair funding would be withheld until states comply.

    Congressman Castle says he hopes to get some more support for the effort in the Senate over the winter, and possibly bring the measure up for a vote some time next year.

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