FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2015
Teen Driver, Passenger Fatalities at Historic Lows,
According to New DMV Report Released Today
Connecticut Children's Study Shows Laws
Are Major Factor in Reduced Deaths
WETHERSFIELD – The Department of Motor Vehicles today released its 2014 Teen Safe Driving Report
showing for the first time in more than a decade no 16 or 17-year-old passengers died in a crash of a vehicle driven by another 16- or 17-year-old driver. May is National Youth Traffic Safety Month.
In addition, last year saw only one death of a driver who falls under special restrictions and laws, known as Connecticut Graduated Driver Licensing or "teen driving laws," for that age group.
Also, a new Connecticut Children's Medical Center study, whose findings are published in this year's report, showed that Connecticut's GDL law can be associated with a significant decrease in fatalities among novice teen drivers. It also found that half of the fatal crashes involving this age group occurred when a novice teen driver was in violation of the new GDL law.
"I applaud all the work done since the passage of tougher laws to save lives and we need to remain aware that even more work is needed every year to reach new teen drivers and the many people who influence them," said DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala, Jr.
Major Highlights in 2014:
No 16 or 17-year-old passenger deaths.
Only one death among 16- and 17-year-old drivers who are governed by the state's GDL program.
There remains a 64-percent reduction in the deaths of 16- and 17-year-old drivers when comparing Connecticut from 1999 to 2003 before any restrictive teen driving laws to a recent period 2011-2014 following the strengthening of teen driving laws. Restrictions were first put in place in 2004 and enhanced in 2008.
A new study by Connecticut Children's Medical Center shows the state's GDL is reducing fatalities and that the teen driving laws – not maturity – are behind the reductions by limiting exposure to hazardous situations.
In this age group crashes with injuries show a 13-percent decline for 2013, the most recent year for crash data, compared to 2012 and 2011.
GDL violations are up slightly for 2104 compared to previous years.
Delayed licensing among 16 and 17 year-olds continues as numbers show a consistent decline compared to those before the 2008 laws went into effect. Meanwhile, the population of this age group has remained nearly the same.
"We have made significant progress with GDL laws in Connecticut, but we need to get parents more engaged to make certain their teens obey the GDL laws. Half of teens who die in car crashed are violating a GDL law," said Dr. Brendan Campbell, who is a trauma surgeon and Director of the Pediatric Trauma Program at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. He co-authored his medical center's recent study on teen driving.
Connecticut started its move into Graduated Driver Licensing on January 1, 1997, when the state first required a learner's permit. In 2003 the state legislature passed the first set of curfew and passenger restriction laws, which became effective in January 2004. In 2007 a series of high-profile fatal crashes occurred. A Governor's Task Force on Teen Safe Driving, convened in the late fall, recommended during the spring of 2008 extended curfews, passenger restrictions, beefed-up training, enhanced penalties, including fines and license suspensions for violations. It also recommended the first-in-the-nation 48-hour suspension of a license for just a charge of violating the laws and a two-hour joint parent-teen information session required for any 16 or 17 year-old seeking a driver's license. The Governor and the state Legislature adopted these recommendations into laws that went into effect August 1, 2008.
Content Last Modified on 5/7/2015 1:47:08 PM