COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Ohio parents overwhelmingly support enhanced nighttime driving limits and passenger restrictions for novice teen drivers, according to a new AAA survey. The survey was done to gauge support for changes to the state's graduated drivers license law for new drivers.
Crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. AAA Ohio's Kimberly Schwind says it's primarily due to a lack of driving experience.
"GDL systems really help reduce the number of crashes and teen deaths for teen drivers by ensuring that these drivers gradually gain experience under relatively safe conditions," she said.
Schwind says studies and crash data reports show the need for improvements to Ohio’s current system, specifically regarding nighttime driving limits and passenger restrictions for newly licensed probationary drivers.
House Bill 204, which is currently in the Ohio House Transportation, Public Safety, and Homeland Security Committee, would not allow newly licensed 16 and 17-year old drivers on the road alone after 10 p.m. It would also reduce the number of passengers a new teen driver could have in their vehicle to one. That one passenger must be at least 21 years old. There are exemptions for family member or if a parent or guardian is in the vehicle.
According to the AAA survey, 90 percent of parents support the new time limit and 81 percent are okay with changes to the passenger limits.
"Parents recognize that even though it's going to take more time on their part it really is an important safety measure to help save the lives of Ohio teen drivers," said Schwind.
The survey also found support for these changes didn't change in most urban and rural areas of the state.
“This survey confirms my belief that the parents of teen drivers in Ohio realize that the provisions in this bill will help keep their sons and daughters safe by reducing the number of crashes among Ohio’s novice drivers,” said Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek), sponsor of the proposed GDL legislation.
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