CHICAGO – State Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White are announcing a more than 50 percent decline in teen driving deaths since their graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) law went into effect in 2008.
“Our reforms that increased the hours required for teens to gain a license and limited their in-car distractions have helped save countless lives,” D’Amico said. “There is still more work to be done in order to better prepare our teen drivers for the road and increase awareness of the risks of distracted driving, but the success of this initiative demonstrates the important role that policies being implemented in Springfield are playing in helping keep our loved ones safe and should serve as a model for other states to follow.”
Illinois’ GDL program better prepares teen drivers by giving them more time to obtain valuable driving experience while under the watchful eye of a parent or guardian, limiting in-car distractions like food and cell phones and requiring teens to earn their way from one stage to the next by avoiding traffic violations. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 155 teen driving deaths (age 16-19) in 2007. Since D’Amico and White’s overhaul of the GDL law took effect in 2008, teen driving fatalities have dropped by 51 percent – with 76 teen driving deaths in 2016.
“State Rep. D’Amico has been a great partner of mine in our ongoing efforts to reduce teen driving fatalities,” said White. “Our comprehensive GDL program, which better prepares teen drivers, is working as we intended and saving lives.”