Teen drivers should be safe drivers


A report released last month by the Governors Highway Safety Association found that fatal traffic crashes involving 16- and 17-year-old drivers were higher nationwide during the first six months of 2012 than during the first six months of 2011.

While I am sad to hear this, I am thrilled to read that Florida experienced a decrease in these tragic crashes. Florida and North Carolina were the only two states to see a decrease in 2012 after posting some of the highest fatality numbers in 2011. We should be proud of our efforts to protect teens who drive. However, our work is far from over.

Florida’s teen driving laws must be strengthened. We must prohibit teens from carrying any passengers, including siblings, during the first year of licensure, and we must require teens be off the roads no later than 10 p.m. — earlier is better. According to the 2011 License to Save report issued by The Allstate Foundation, Florida could save more than 180 additional lives a year by strengthening its teen driving laws. That’s at least 180 families that could be spared the pain of losing a child in a preventable crash.

I lead the Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition, which the National Safety Council and The Allstate Foundation established to bring attention to this issue by educating parents, teens, lawmakers and others about why teen drivers crash and how to best protect them. I encourage those interested in this issue to get involved. Our most vulnerable drivers need our help.

Danielle Branciforte, leader, Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition

Read more Speak Up stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category