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Fall 2010 | Vol. 12 | No. 5
Teen Driving Bill Introduced in Senate, House
Earlier this summer, Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) introduced H.R. 5949, the Students Taking Action for Road Safety Act of 2010 (STARS) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced companion bill S. 3679 in the Senate the next day.
The Act authorizes $25 million a year in FY 2011 through 2015 for a state grant program to support school and community peer-to-peer education and prevention programs for teen drivers (those under 21). The program includes a formula for distributing the funds based, in part, on the number of teen drivers in a state. States would receive no less than $200,000 under the program, and states would specifically be allowed to suballocate funds to nonprofits.
Under this new grant program, funds could be used to improve the safety of teen drivers by:
- Working with student-led groups and advisors from schools to plan
and implement teen safety programs;
- Providing sub-grants to schools to support the establishment and expansion
of teen-focused student groups;
Creating statewide or regional websites to publicize and circulate information
on teen safety programs;
- Conducting outreach and providing educational resources for parents;
- Establishing teen driver state or regional advisory councils to provide input and
recommendations to the governor and governor’s safety representatives on teen safety issues;
- Collaborating with law enforcement;
- Organizing and hosting state and regional teen driver safety conferences;
- Establishing partnerships and promoting collaboration among community stakeholders
(including public, private and nonprofit entities); and
- Funding the position of a state or regional teen safety program coordinator.
$500,000 of the funds would be earmarked for a national nonprofit to establish a technical assistance center that would provide training and technical assistance to state and local officials, student leaders, school advisors and others. The center would also operate a national teen safety clearinghouse that would develop information and resources for improving the health and safety of teen drivers, disseminate techniques and strategies for teen safety programs, and develop and carry out a public awareness campaign.
In addition, DOT would be required to establish a Teen Driver Advisory Council that would develop an education and prevention strategy for reducing injuries and fatalities for teen drivers. Eighteen months after enactment, the Council would have to report to Congress on the results of its efforts.
The bills have been referred to the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
To view a copy of the legislation, go to www.congress.gov and enter the bill number in the search box.