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Teen driving bill advances to full house

Thursday, April 2, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS -- A bill in front of the full Indiana House will require teenagers to log at least 50 hours of supervised driving and wait longer before receiving a driver's license if passed.

The House Roads and Transportation Committee endorsed the bill Wednesday after making a few minor changes to the version passed by the Senate.

One of the changes includes moving the effective date on some of the provisions from this July to July 2010.

A ban on drivers younger than 18 from using cell phones and other telecommunications devices while behind the wheel would still take effect this July.

Proponents say the bill will save lives. Similar bills have failed to pass in the last two years, but this one appears to have bipartisan momentum.

Republican Sen. Travis Holdman of Markle sponsors the bill.

Other items in the bill include adding six months to the eligibility age for a learner's permit, a driver's license with driver's education and a license without driver's education.

It also adds at least 50 hours of practice, including 10 at night, with a parent or other licensed driver age 25 years or older. Teens will also not be allowed to carry passengers for the first six months after getting a license or drive late at night.

According to AAA, both nationally and in Indiana, nearly two of every three people killed in teen-driver crashes are people other than the teen driver.

More than 150 Hoosier teen drivers lost their lives in fatal crashes in Indiana last year.


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I would like to see a law that states that no cells phones can be used while driving no matter what your age is. The next time you go down the road, take a look at all the people, both young and old, talking on the phone or worse yet...texting each other!

-- Posted by localjoe on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 6:46 AM

Since Indiana is in a snow belt, why don't they add a few hours of driving on the ice and snow as apart of the training.

-- Posted by sierrabloom on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 8:53 AM

That would be hard to do as many driver ed classes are taught in the summer months. I think it's great to get these teens more experience. We've lost too many. As far as the cell phones and texting, absolutely shouldn't be allowed for these teens. I feel that as an adult with lots of driving experience, I can handle talking on a cell phone while driving. If I'm in a busy area, I just hang up. Teens don't know when to do that though and absolutely NO ONE should be texting while driving!

-- Posted by bannerstuff on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 9:21 AM

The cell phone provision is an unenforceable prohibition. Don't our police have bigger issues to deal with?

One by one, our freedoms keep being taken from us because it will "save lives." There are always people willing to restrict other people's freedom.

I know, you say. It's for our own good, you say. But just when exactly did it become governments entire function to take care of each of us because we are too stupid or too ignorant to take care of ourselves?

-- Posted by whatsup on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 12:28 PM

"But just when exactly did it become governments entire function to take care of each of us because we are too stupid or too ignorant to take care of ourselves?"

First off, not the entire function of government. Secondly, you are missing a key point. Whether it is inexperienced teens driving with cell phones or smoking in public, the "freedoms" being taken away are not to protect those who are "too stupid" to take care of themselves. It is to protect the others they can potentially hurt. Your argument could be used to make drunk driving legal, because the government shouldn't take care of those too stupid to not drive drunk. That law--like this one--is in place to also protect others.

For example, re-read the next to last sentence in the article: "According to AAA, both nationally and in Indiana, nearly two of every three people killed in teen-driver crashes are people other than the teen driver."

-- Posted by cloverfan on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 2:47 PM

Well, then let's stop everyone driving and that will save all kinds of lives...

-- Posted by whatsup on Thu, Apr 2, 2009, at 4:12 PM

Cell phone distraction causes 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries in the United States every year, according to the journal's publisher, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

The reason is now obvious:

Drivers talking on cell phones were 18 percent slower to react to brake lights, the new study found. In a minor bright note, they also kept a 12 percent greater following distance. But they also took 17 percent longer to regain the speed they lost when they braked. That frustrates everyone.

"Once drivers on cell phones hit the brakes, it takes them longer to get back into the normal flow of traffic," Strayer said. "The net result is they are impeding the overall flow of traffic."

Strayer and his colleagues have been down this road before. In 2001, they found that even hands-free cell phone use distracted drivers. In 2003 they revealed a reason: Drivers look but don't see, because they're distracted by the conversation. The scientists also found previously that chatty motorists are less adept than drunken drivers with blood alcohol levels exceeding 0.08.

Separate research last year at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign supported the conclusion that hands-free cell phone use causes driver distraction.

"With younger adults, everything got worse," said Arthur Kramer, who led the Illinois study. "Both young adults and older adults tended to show deficits in performance. They made more errors in detecting important changes and they took longer to react to the changes."

http://www.livescience.com/technology/05...

I will be the guy sitting beside you cussing while you are on your cell phone while in traffic with your kids in the car while you smoke a cigarette. Oh yes, you sure have earned that entitlement.

-- Posted by reeltime on Wed, Apr 8, 2009, at 5:26 AM

70% made up? Do you have a source for that info, or did you just make that up?

-- Posted by reeltime on Mon, Apr 13, 2009, at 4:23 AM


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