Governor Bill Ritter announced Thursday teen traffic deaths in Colorado have actually decreased more than 30%. He credits it all to the Graduated Driver Licensing Law, which puts restrictions on teen drivers during their first year with a license.
This law has been in effect since 1999, but about a year and a half ago, the law got tougher. Teenagers aren't allowed to have a passenger under 21 years old in the car until they've had a license for 6 months. Then for 6 months following that, teen drivers can only have one passenger in the car (under 21 years old). The teens we spoke with are okay with the idea, saying the law helps them learn the rules of the road without the distractions from their friends. "Sure it sucks for awhile, but it’s worth it in the end," Lynna Rollo, a 16 1/2 year old driver said. "I'm okay with the laws and the rules. You have to live with rules all your life," Sarah Schofield, another teen driver said.
Car crashes involving teens are quite a problem here in El Paso County. "Statistically, we have more of a problem with teen fatalities, but the law is showing improvement," Springs Chief Richard Myers said.
Many parents believe the law makes a difference in their kids' driving behavior. "She slid into the curb and it ruined the alignment, but she drives differently now," Al Brody, a parent of a 16 year old said.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens.