Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers. Now there's a big push to get Congress to pass new national guidelines making streets safer for teen drivers.
Tougher regulations on teen drivers. That's the safety debate being posed to Congress when it comes to keeping teens safe behind the wheel.
Advocates say there should be federal standards not different ones determined by each state.
“It makes very clear sense that if you know something is working at a local level, you take federal action to encourage everyone around the country to take steps that can save lives,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-MD.
Advocates want a national graduated drivers licensing program, which would give young drivers more privileges behind the wheel in phases.
First a learners permit at 16-years-old to learn to drive with supervision, then an intermediate level after passing road tests but prohibits nighttime driving, and then a full license.
I myself am a 16-year-old teen driver,” said Kaylen Larson of Minnesota. “For teenagers, though, safe driving isn't as simple as taking away a cell phone. New teen drivers face other risks like driving with other teens as passengers, and driving unsupervised at night.”
Some parents say it will make their job easier to stop kids from risky driving behavior. Bill Walter lost his only son to a car crash.
“Parents don't have to be the bad guys when they say,’no, you can't take your friends in the car. No, you can't drive late at night’,” he said.
Despite the emotional pleas, there's no timeframe yet as to if and when the proposed legislation would move through congress.