, March 8, 2011 –
The American Public Health Association commends Sens.
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) today for introducing the Safe Teen and Novice
Driver Uniform Protection Act (STANDUP), legislation that would dramatically
reduce teen motor vehicle crashes, the leading cause of death among teens.
The legislation would
establish minimum federal requirements for state Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL)
laws and encourage all states to adopt GDL laws that meet those minimum
requirements within three years.
According to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if every state had strong GDL
programs to help new drivers gain skills under low-risk conditions, 175 lives
would be saved and about 350,000 injuries prevented each year. Although the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 46 states and the District of Columbia have
some components of a GDL program, no state meets all optimal guidelines.
“Assuring that our
nation’s teens are smart, safe drivers is one of the most important steps we
can take to protect their safety and the safety of others on the road,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP, (E), executive
director of APHA. “The STANDUP Act is
essential legislation that would limit the toll of injuries and lives
senselessly lost due to traffic-related crashes.”
APHA also applauds the collective
commitment of Reps. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-M.D.) who plan
to co-sponsor the House version of the bill, ensuring all teens across the
country are protected by effective GDL laws.
injuries will be the focus of National Public Health Week April 4-10, an annual
observance organized by APHA that highlights public health achievements and
raises awareness of issues integral to improving the nation’s health. This
year, in partnership with CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and
Control, APHA will continue its broad vision to make America the healthiest
nation in one generation by addressing the importance of injury and violence
prevention through the theme “Safety is No Accident: Live Injury-free.”
Please join us in celebrating NPHW and helping create a safer, healthier
raise awareness and engage communities across the nation on the issue, APHA has
produced comprehensive resources for planning, organizing and outreach in a new
online toolkit. The toolkit includes suggested events, legislative information
and media resources to use before, during and after the week. The 2011 Partner
Toolkit is available at www.nphw.org.