Implementation activities

  1. Gather data to calculate the number of beginning drivers in the state aged 16 and 17 with a learner and provisional license to have a better understanding about the size of the teen population that might be affected by an increase in the learner period.
  2. Determine whether there is any indication of increases in teen crashes age 16-17 compared to those of older age groups at the state or local level so that a case can be made to address the problem by adopting this measure. Be sure to control for pre-existing trends.
  3. Gather state or local data from parents to gauge support for this measure. National surveys in the U.S. have revealed that this is a popular policy among parents of teen drivers.7
  4. Inform parents, policy makers, stakeholders, and the media about the benefits of a learner holding period of 12 months and potential crash reductions. It makes sense that more time for supervised training can be beneficial. It also makes sense that a one-year requirement forces learners to practice under supervision during all seasons of the year, which may be especially beneficial in states with periods of variable and inclement weather conditions.
  5. Anticipate and address any concerns that parents and stakeholders may have about this measure. Some parents may have concerns about the necessity for continued parental involvement in supervising teen drivers; licensing authorities may be concerned about lost revenue from fewer learner permit renewals with a longer permit holding period.
  6. Ensure that the primary focus in proposing and discussing this measure is on changes in learner requirements and not on an increase in the licensing age. Of note, the goal of increasing the licensing age by lengthening the learner period should not be a main feature in any proposal for this measure. Whenever it has been proposed to increase the licensing age directly, strong opposition has occurred. However, in the 15 states where increasing the licensing age has been presented in a less direct manner, through changes in learner requirements, there have been no challenges. This was reflected in the survey responses, where increasing the licensing age specifically received minimal support, although there was strong support for lengthening the learner period to 12 months.7

7Williams et al. 2011