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For Immediate Release
December 10, 2002
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary Gwadosky to Meet with Maine Driver Education Association to Discuss Safety Initiatives for Young Drivers

Tuesday, December 10, 2002 at 10:00 a.m.
Executive Conference Room, Bureau of Motor Vehicles
101 Hospital Street, Augusta

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will be meeting with the Maine Driver Education Association (MEDEA) at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 in the Executive Conference Room at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Secretary Gwadosky is seeking to obtain insight from various individuals and groups concerned with the safety of young drivers as his department contemplates additional legislative initiatives in this area. He recently addressed the Legislative Youth Advisory Council and sought its input on this topic. Troubled by this year's increase in fatalities of 16 to 24 year olds (currently at 46, an increase from 39 fatalities in 2001 and 41 in 2000), Secretary Gwadosky is committed to working with the Maine Legislature to consider further legislative action.

Over the past several years, the Department of the Secretary of State has sought to involve parents in their teenager's driving education and have encouraged parents and teens to communicate with each other about the responsibilities of driving. Secretary Gwadosky developed legislation for some of the most sweeping changes in driver education, licensing and testing in the last 40 years. Those changes included requiring 35 hours of driving time with an adult (preferably a parent) before requesting a road test, increasing the provisional license period from one year to two years, and increasing the suspension period for moving violations during the two year provisional period.

Secretary Gwadosky also developed a Young Driver Contract that is available to help families open up the lines of communication regarding these important issues. A copy of the Young Driver Contract is available at www.maine.gov/sos/news/youngdriver.htm.