Having a teenage daughter myself, I 'm happy to share with you some good news from the office of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, regarding the overall reduction of traffic fatalities involving teens here in Illinois.

In spite of several heartbreaking losses in our area very recently, more teens are surviving those first few years of driving Illinois' roadways.

Some numbers from the Secretary of State's office:

Secretary of State Jesse White kicked off National Teen Driver Safety Week by announcing that teen driving deaths are down by nearly 60 percent in Illinois, a new low since Illinois’ nationally recognized Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program took effect in 2008.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), there were 155 teen driving deaths in 2007. Since White’s efforts with the GDL law, teen driving fatalities have decreased significantly to 66 deaths in 2014, a drop of more than 57 percent.

“I am pleased this law is working as we intended,” said White. “Our goal all along was to save lives. When I first convened the Teen Driver Safety Task Force, we knew we faced a difficult mission. Automobile crashes were the leading cause of death for teens. While too many teens are still dying on our roads, we can take some solace that far fewer teens have died in crashes since we strengthened our GDL program.”

Here's a look at teen fatalities in the state each year since the implementation of GDL:

2007- 155 (before GDL program)
2008- 93
2009- 79
2010- 85
2011- 81
2012- 71
2013- 71
2014- 66

To learn more about the state’s GDL program, visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com


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