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1/3/2012 - Graduated Driver Licensing laws could save thousands of lives, billions of dollars

GDL laws restrict teens' nighttime driving.

If all states implemented comprehensive graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws, 2,000 accident fatalities per year could be avoided and billions of dollars would be saved, a new report suggests.

GDL laws are driving restrictions placed on younger motorists that prevent them from operating their vehicles under certain conditions, such as not being able to drive late at night or have more than a certain number of passengers in the car at once. The National Safety Council (NSC) said that if all states enacted these policies, teen driving incidents would be reduced significantly. In states where these laws are in place, teen driver fatalities have dropped as much as 40%.

Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the NSC, said GDL laws have been making roads safer for the past two decades.

"Over the last 20 years, graduated driver licensing laws have saved an estimated 15,000 lives," said Froetscher. "These laws can save thousands of American lives and save billions of dollars for consumers, businesses and state and local governments."

She added that lawmakers can help reduce the number of auto insurance claimed filed through legislative action that makes GDL laws mandatory.

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