Graduated Driver Licensing
Why have it? What is it?
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in Nebraska.
On average, two teens die on our roads EVERY month.
A teen’s crash risk is affected by brain development, personality, inexperience and driving in high-risk driving situations. GDL provisions work to reduce a teen’s exposure to high risk situations in order to reduce their involvement in a crash.
GDL delays full licensure to allow new drivers time to develop critical driving skills under low risk conditions while reducing those things that cause greater risk (NHTSA*). GDL laws work because they keep teens out of high risk situations such as driving at night, driving with peer passengers in the vehicle, using a cell phone while driving; they also require seat belt use. Since the implementation of the GDL law in 1998, Nebraska teen crashes have been reduced by at least 60%.
The following are Nebraska’s GDL driving restrictions and why they are important for a teen’s safety.
Nighttime Driving – Holder of a POP (Provisional Operator Permit) shall not drive from midnight to 6 AM unless from school activities or work.
The fatal crash rate of 16-year-olds is nearly twice as high at night. (IIHS*)
States with nighttime restrictions in place have reported up to a 60 percent reduction in crashes during the restricted hours. (NHTSA*)
Passengers – For the first 6 months, holder of a POP is limited to one passenger younger than 19 who is not an immediate family member.
Two or more peer passengers more than triples the risk of a fatal crash with a teen behind the wheel. (CHOP*)
With peer passengers in the car, male teen drivers were almost six times more likely to perform an illegal maneuver and twice more likely to act aggressively before crashing than when driving alone. (CHOP)
Cell Phones – Holder of a School Learners Permit (LPE), School Permit (SCP), Learners Permit (LPD) or Provisional Operators Permit (POP) shall not use any type of interactive wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle.
Crash risk is four times higher when a driver uses a cell phone, whether or not it’s hands free. (CHOP)
Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times greater than driving while not distracted. (VTTI*)
Seat Belts – All persons being transported, including the driver, must use a seat belt.
Teens have the lowest seat belt use of any age group. (CDC*)
Of the teens killed in car crashes in Nebraska, 65% were NOT wearing seat belts. (NE CODES*, 2007-2011)
Seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by 50%. (NHTSA)
Alcohol – Anyone under age 21 is prohibited from driving with any measureable amount of alcohol in their body.
Summary of Nebraska’s GDL