Utica, NY (WIBX) - New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-NY) is calling for states to adopt the STANDUP Act, that calls for stricter regulations to curb the number 1 killer of teenagers; car accidents. In a conference call today, Gillibrand, who was joined by a father who lost his 16-year-old son in a car accident, said adopting the Graduated Drivers Licence program has proven to be an effective method for reducing the risks of crashes among new drivers.

Gillibrand said New York State has been a leader in preparing its young drivers with education and experience they need when phasing into driving, through the Safe Teen And Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act also known as the STANDUP Act. "The Act basically sets national standards for state's to implement a Graduated Drivers License program that gradually phases teens in to the driving experience," Gillibrand said.

She said GDL's are proven affective methods for reducing the risks for crashes amongst new drivers by introducing teens to the driving experience gradually, phasing-in full driving privileges over time in low risk settings and learning to eliminate distractions that cause accidents.

Gillibrand said the GDL system is based on a set of minimum requirements. She listed them as, "A three stage licensing process from learners permit to intermediate to full non-restricted drivers licensing. Prohibited night driving during intermediate stage. Passenger restrictions during learners permit and intermediate stage with no more than 1 non-family member under the age of 21 may travel with a learning teenage driver -- unless a licensed driver over the age of 21 is also in the vehicle. No cell phones or any other communication devices including text messaging during a learners permit and intermediate stages."

Also, the Act calls for Learners Permits to be issued at age 16, and non-restrictive drivers licence to be issued at age 18. Gillibrand said every state has some version of the GDL system but the requirements vary widely. Also, she added that states who adopt the STANDUP Act, are eligible to apply for Highway Trust Fund Grants after 3 years of compliance.

Gillibrand was joined by Jerry Assa of Plainview, NY who lost his 16-year-old son Brian in a car accident in 2008 and has since formed a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching New York teens the importance of driving safety.

To learn more about the STANDUP Act visit, http://www.saferoads4teens.org/standup-act.

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