A new task force in Illinois suggests that more behind-the-wheel
practice and parental involvement could help reduce teen road deaths in the
Created by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, the task
force met last week in Springfield to discuss increasing young drivers’
Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill into law in June that
doubles the amount of time teens must spend behind-the-wheel training with
their parents to 50 hours. The graduated driver’s license program includes 10
hours of nighttime driving.
Illinois law also prohibits drivers younger than 18 from
using cell phones while driving and limits the number of teenage passengers
they can transport.
White said he wants to add to the law by requiring teen
drivers to have their learner’s permits for at least six months. Currently, learner’s
permits are required for three months.
White also suggested making the curfew an hour earlier for
16-year-old drivers. The curfew would be moved up to 10 p.m. from 11 p.m.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, automobile accidents are the leading cause of death among
“While Illinois’ GDL law already contains many of the
components that are believed to reduce traffic fatalities for these young
drivers, we want to make sure that we take every reasonable step possible to
save more lives,” White said in a written statement.
The task force has scheduled additional meetings this fall
in Carterville and Chicago.
Findings from the meetings will be used to set up a
legislative agenda for the session that begins in January.