Rep. Liz Pike creates task force to seek reductions in teen driver accidents
Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, is bringing together constituents to create a Teen Driving Safety Task Force to seek prevention methods against fatalities and serious injury accidents involving young drivers on Clark County roads and highways. The first task force meeting will be held on Thursday, June 4 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Community Room at the Camas Police Department, 2100 NE 3rd Avenue in Camas. The public is invited to observe the panel discussion.
A Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) report shows that in 2013, Clark County experienced 64 serious injuries and 24 fatalities involving drivers between the ages of 16 to 25. WTSC Legislative and Media Relations Manager Shelly Baldwin and her staff plan to attend the task force meeting and will provide an overview of efforts at the state level to address factors in crashes involving teen drivers and effective strategies for reducing these events.
“I have been very alarmed about the disproportional numbers of injuries and deaths in Clark County involving teen drivers. Earlier this session, I introduced a bill to address this serious issue. House Bill 1159 would have required young drivers display a “New Driver” sticker on the back of their vehicle to alert other drivers for safety reasons,” said Pike.
The bill was amended to a Clark County-only pilot project and passed the House, but died in the Senate Transportation Committee.
Pike said some parents were concerned that a “New Driver” emblem on a car driven by teens would somehow make their child a target. Others questioned whether the emblems would have the desired effect to reduce the number of accidents involving young drivers.
“These are valid concerns and likely contributed to the bill's demise this year in the Senate,” noted Pike. “However, the problem did not go away and I am still looking for solutions to save young lives on our roadways. My job as a state representative is to identify positive solutions to solve the difficult problems facing our state. We need to find ways to reduce accidents involving teen drivers and that's the reason for this task force.”
Pike is working to create a stakeholder group of teen drivers, law enforcement, professional drivers' education instructors and other interested persons in the community who want to be part of a solution to reduce the trend of teen driving accidents.
“The goal of this stakeholder group is to identify solutions that will work,” she added.
For more information about the Teen Driving Safety Task Force and the meeting on June 4, contact Pike's office in Camas at (360) 210-4534 or via email at Liz.Pike@leg.wa.gov.
###Washington State House Republican Communications