June 23, 2006

Restrictions on nighttime driving for new drivers reduces crash rate


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Edmonton, Alberta – The Alberta Motor Association (AMA) has recommended the Government of Alberta revise the current graduated driver licensing system to include a restriction on nighttime driving, other than for essential driving such as to and from work, and a limit on the number of passengers allowable for new, unsupervised drivers.

The AMA points to a study released by the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety, which shows that jurisdictions with nighttime and passenger restrictions for 16-year-old drivers had a 20 per cent lower death and injury crash rate than those without restrictions. The study also showed that twice as many crash-free teenagers reported never having violated their state’s passenger restriction provision, compared to teens who had crashed.

The study also showed that teenagers who had not been involved in crashes reported higher levels of parental monitoring when compared to those who had been involved in crashes, and that teenagers involved in crashes were more likely to report more frequent violations of the restrictions.

“Teens whose parents take an active role, obey traffic rules and regulations, and follow graduated driver licensing regulations are much less likely to crash,” says Walter Barta, AMA Driver Education. “The AMA supports the AAA approach of involving parents in making driving safer for teens. The results of this study show that a well-designed and well-enforced graduated driver licensing system can save many teen lives.”

Barta also says that motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of death and injury for teenagers in Alberta, with a 22 per cent teen casualty rate for every 1,000 drivers.

AMA offers the AAA’s interactive DVD, Driver-ZED, to both members and non-members. The DVD puts teenaged users through 100 driving scenarios, allowing them to experience situations that could take several years to encounter on the real road. For more information, visit www.ama.ab.ca.

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