ST. CHARLES, Ill. (WBBM) — A west suburban congressman who clamped new restrictions on teen drivers in Illinois as a state legislator in 2007 now wants to extend the restrictions nationwide.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports, the regulations U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) has in mind would forbid teens from using cell phones, driving at night and having more than one non-family member in the car, unless someone 21 or over accompanies them.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports
Hultgren’s plan would also require more classroom training and more road instruction. He wants to tie the regulations to interstate highway funds.
“The number one killer of our teens is driving deaths, and we have seen a very clear result where our teen driving deaths have gone down significantly in areas where we’ve passed these graduated driver’s license laws,” Hultgren said.
Hultgren says about half of the 50 states meet that standard, which also requires a three-step approach to licensing teens, at least six months for a learner’s permit, six months for an intermediate license and an unrestricted license no sooner than the driver’s 18th birthday – but only if the teen’s record is clean.
In August 2007, then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed legislation for Illinois that upped the amount of adult supervision time teens need from three months to nine. The law also moved up by an hour curfews for teen drivers to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends, among other changes.
The year before, Blagojevich signed a law that immediately doubled the amount of required driving practice time teens need to 50 hours from 25.