After reading about the STANDUP act I think the GDL requirements would negatively affect the lives of many teenagers. Not being able to drive after dark would prevent many teens from having jobs and participating in extracurricular activities. Most teens have working parents who aren’t always home to drive them to work, or track meets, or musical practice. In this situation, not being able to drive after dark would mean having to give up extracurricular activities, or even having a job, which isn’t an option for some teens. Also, the time the sun sets varies with the time of the year, so a teen who was able to work until 8pm and still be home before dark in the summer, might only just get home from school by the time the sun is setting in the winter. Making the night time bereft of teen drivers doesn’t eliminate the accidents that occur during the day when there are even more people on the roads. Also, by giving states that follow the act money, and reducing funding to those who don’t, the government would basically be forcing states to follow the GDL standards in order to keep their government funding. As for the passenger restrictions and cell phone use, passenger restriction is already in effect for most learners permits, and most states are already banning cell phone use while driving, so why repeat laws that already exist? Overall, I believe the GDL would restrict teens and teen drivers from many of the things that would benefit them later in life such as after school jobs and extracurricular activities.
STANDUP Act response
January 22, 2010