Cooley Legislation Extending the Graduated Driver Licensing Program Approved by Assembly Transportation Committee

For immediate release:

Rancho Cordova- Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s AB 724 was approved today by the Assembly Transportation Committee.   AB 724 is sponsored by the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, and extends California’s Graduated Driver Licensing program to include 18 and 19 year olds- requiring them to take drivers training in order to obtain a license.

“A grim California reality is that 18 and 19 year old novice drivers have the highest accident and fatal crash rates of any group on the road. The data proves that teenagers who go through the GDL program are significantly and consistently safer drivers,” said Assemblyman Ken Cooley.  “This legislation makes them—and every other driver—safer.”

California traffic records show a significantly higher level of injury and death for 18 and 19 year novice drivers with no driver’s education and training. This bill expands on the current law that requires teenagers under 18 to gradually earn full driving privileges by undergoing a learner stage and year-long provisional license stage.

The bill requires 18 and 19 year old novice drivers to complete a 30-hour driver education course and 6 hours of professional driver training. Novices must obtain a learner permit for 6 months, and then pass the California driving test to earn a provisional license, which allows unsupervised driving except between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am or while transporting a passenger under 20 years old. A provisional license must be held for 12 months or until age 20 to receive a full license.

“Saving lives is one of the most important functions of CHP officers.  This bill is an important step in saving our young drivers lives and preventing critical injuries and fatalities,” said Aaron Read on behalf of the California Association of Highway Patrolmen.

According to the DMV, there is a major drop in licensure for 17 year olds. This suggests that 17 year olds who haven’t yet been licensed wait until they are 18, when they can avoid the GDL program.  A long list of studies prove that drivers who avoid the GDL program by waiting to become licensed at age 18 or later have significantly higher accident and fatal crash rates than those who underwent GDL.

Assemblyman Ken Cooley represents the 8th Assembly District which includes the communities of Arden-Arcade, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Murieta, Rosemont, Wilton and other portions of unincorporated Sacramento County.   For more information, please visit http://asmdc.org/members/a08/

Assemblymember Cooley says statistics show new drivers who have taken part in a graduated drivers license (GDL) program are substantially safer drivers. (:14)

Assemblymember Cooley says 18 and 19-year-olds who have not been part of a GDL program are much more likely to be in an accident. (:16)

Assemblymember Cooley says participation in a GDL program can also reduce insurance premiums. (08)

Assemblymember Cooley says statistics show there’s no reason to expand the program beyond 18 and 19-year-olds. (:16)

CONTACT: Jillena Hernandez, (916) 281-4832