Farmingville, NY, October 15, 2012 - State Farm is pleased to award its 2012 Graduated Driver Licensing Champion award to Congressman Tim Bishop (D, NY-1) to recognize his long-time support and leadership on teen driving safety. Congressman Bishop is one of the first federal legislators to receive this prestigious award. Twenty five state legislators have been recognized for their work on strengthened graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws since 2008.
In recognition of National Teen Driver Safety Week, Sachem High School East will host a teen driver safety fair on Thursday, October 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Participants in the fair include the Suffolk County Police Department, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Education & Assistance Corporation (EAC), all of whom are advocates for better teen driving. A formal presentation of the award to Congressman Bishop will take place at 11:00 a.m. at the Sachem East High School 177 Granny Road, Farmingville, NY. 11738.
State Farm applauds the passage of The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II (H.R. 4348), which includes a grant program to encourage states to adopt enhanced GDL laws. Congressman Bishop is considered a leader in the effort to reduce the incidence of accidents involving teen drivers, and is the principal sponsor in the House of Represenatives of the bipartisan Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection (STAND UP) Act, legislation to set national standards for states to implement Graduated Driver License (GDL) programs that prepare teens to be safe, responsible drivers.
State Farm believes stronger GDL laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will help create safer roadways and better teen drivers. GDL laws help strengthen the driving skills of eligible teenagers, introducing driving privileges to young novice drivers over time, providing opportunities to gain valuable behind-the-wheel experience and develop important driving skills in lower-risk conditions.
Because auto crashes are the number one killer of teens, State Farm is dedicated to helping create safer and better-prepared drivers. "Research demonstrates inexperienced teen drivers are much more likely to crash than other drivers," said Chris Mullen, Director of Technology Research at State Farm. "Strong GDL laws gradually and systematically expose teens to more complex driving situations, ultimately reducing their crash risk. Studies show that crashes among teen drivers have decreased by up to 30 percent in states with strong graduated licensing systems."
Enforcement of these new driving restrictions begins at home. While parents are in the best position to impose GDL requirements, having strong laws in place throughout the country emphasizes the vital importance the states place on teen driver safety.
Members of the media are invited to attend and help spread the good news about teen driver safety and the Graduated Driver License process. Please respond to Arlene J. Lester by Wednesday afternoon if possible so that proper arrangements can be made for your arrival.
Travis Wattie, (518) 363-2680
Arlene J. Lester, (973) 943-6524
National Teen Driver Safety Week is observed the third week of October, to bring attention to the number one killer of American teens, car crashes. During this week we encourage parents, young drivers, lawmakers and educators to focus on working together to change risky teen driving behaviors and help save lives. As a result of their combined goal of reducing injury and death from teen crashes, State Farm® and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia® teamed up in 2007 to support a Congressional resolution designating National Teen Driver Safety Week. Working together with many valued safety organizations, we continue to provide leadership and advocacy around this tragedy.
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