Safety Laws Save Lives: Utah Kids are Safer on the Road than Ever Before

16 June 2015 Written by  

I was terrified when I received my first Utah driver’s license at age 16. That was before Utah’s first graduated driver licensing law went into effect in 1999, so I had very little practice before I was expected to drive on my own.  I didn’t have enough experience to be safe and confident on the road. Today’s Utah teenagers enjoy a smoother transition into driving, thanks to the Graduated Driver License (GDL) program, which provides 16 and 17 year-old drivers with learner permits for six months of supervised practice prior to beginning to drive alone. Reference A

Looking back at statistics over the past couple decades, I see that my fears were not unfounded. Utah children and teens were not as safe on the road in the 90’s as they are today. A series of good legislative decisions, such as requiring graduated drivers’ licenses, seat belts, car seats and booster seats, has contributed to lower rates of automobile-related death and injury among Utah kids.  Making the right policy choices saves lives.

For more information about trends in Utah child well-being, see Utah Measures of Child Well-being and the Utah Kids Count website.


April Young Bennett 300April Young Bennett, Communications Director, joined the organization in 2014. She received her Master of Public Administration from the University of Arizona and her Bachelor in Community Health Education from Utah State University. Prior to joining Voices for Utah Children, April worked for the Utah Department of Health for over a decade, addressing health disparities among minorities and other underserved Utahns. She completed internships and fellowships with the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy and the U.S. Senate.