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For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact APHA Communications at (202) 777-2509 or mediarelations@apha.org .

APHA Lauds U.S. Senate for Support of STANDUP Act

Washington , D.C. , 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.

Preventing 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 nation.

To 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.

 

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.