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Teen Driver Safety Task Force

"Recent studies have shown that the most comprehensive GDL programs can reduce traffic fatalities for 16-year-old drivers by as much as 21 percent. While Illinois' GDL law already contains many of the components that are believed to reduce traffic fatalities for these young drivers, we want to make sure that we take every reasonable step possible to save more lives. These young people are our future leaders and we want to protect them so they have the opportunity to grow up and fulfill their aspirations." — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White

History and MIsson

On January 24, 2007, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced the introduction of legislation in the State Senate to enhance Illinois' Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program. Senate Bill 172 was drafted based on the recommendations of Secretary White's esteemed Teen Driver Safety Task Force, and aims to give Illinois one of the most comprehensive GDL programs in the nation.

Last summer Secretary White announced the creation of the Teen Driver Safety Task Force. The Task Force held statewide hearings to examine teen driving laws and propose legislation aimed at reducing teen traffic fatalities. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people age 15 to 20. About 1,000 16-year-old drivers are involved in fatal crashes in the United States each year.

The Task Force, comprised of legislators, traffic safety experts, law enforcement officials, educators and judges, held public hearings in Springfield, Carterville and Chicago to examine Illinois' Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) law, other state's programs and recent studies that have concluded comprehensive GDL programs reduce teen traffic fatalities. The task force heard proposals from a variety of traffic safety organizations, national experts and victim advocates to improve teen driving laws.

From these hearings, the Task Force developed a 10-point plan of recommendations to give Illinois a model GDL program for other states to emulate. This plan has received high marks from national experts, including the National Safety Council and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Teen Driver Safety Task Force will examine and propose legislation to strengthen the Illinois GDL program in a manner that enhances the safety of young, novice drivers and reduces teen fatal crashes.

Teen Driver Safety Task Force Final Recomendations

Teen Driver Safety Task Force Members

Elected Officials
Rep. Jay Hoffman, Co-Chair
Sen. John Cullerton, Co-Chair
Sen. Cheryl Axley
Sen. Mattie Hunter
Sen. Tony Munoz
Rep. John D'Amico
Rep. Ron Wait
Judge Jeffrey R. Ford
Judge Perry Thompson

Federal & State Agencies
Don McNamara, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Steve Blackistone, National Transportation Safety Board
Tim Imler, IL State Board of Education
Lt. Col. Craig Allen, IL State Police
Michael Stout, IDOT Traffic Safety
Brad Demuzio, IL Secretary of State Police

Other Members
William "Bill" Briggs, IL Federation of Teachers
Paula Davis, Superintendent of Pekin Schools
Mark Gruca, IL High School & College Drivers Education Association
Matthew P. Jones, State's Attorney Appellate Prosecutors Office
Michael D. Karlin, Victim Advocate
Edward Maloney, Attorney at Law
Becky Markwell, IL Traffic Safety Leaders
Susan McKinney, Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Laimutis "Limey" Nargelenas, IL Association of Chiefs of Police
Dave Perozzi, Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists
C. E. Welch, IL Education Association
Greg Sullivan, IL Sheriffs Association
John Ulczycki, National Safety Council