National News

Many call changes to teen driving "lifesaving"

Posted February 9, 2018 10:42 a.m. EST

— It has been 10 years since the teen driving laws were changed in Connecticut, and many say this has become "lifesaving legislation."

Those behind the mission say there has been a dramatic decrease in teen driver deaths and serious crashes.

A father who lost his 17-year-old son to a crash on I-84 12 years ago is behind changing the laws, and making them stricter.

Tim Hollister lost his son Reid to the crash on I-84 in Plainville in 2006. He was one of 17 drivers killed in just a few weeks.

"A year later, CT had back-to-back multiple fatalities teens driver crashes, 17 in six weeks," Hollister said.

He made it his mission to keep this from happening to other families.

After those deaths in 2007, a task force was formed, and Hollister was appointed to it to help change the laws.

"We now one of the strictest teen driver laws in the country and to fast forward over the years, we are having the event, we have a 70 percent reduction in teen driver crashes and facilities which is the best track record in the whole country," Hollister said.

Many are coming together to celebrate the success of the Graduated Drivers Licensing laws, which were strengthened in 2008 after those multiple teen driving fatalities.

AAA's driving school director said the laws work.

"We've strengthened the laws with the support of legislators here in CT and have done a lot to reduce crashes and fatalities, for teen drivers," said Jennifer Shorette, AAA driving school director.

The laws require parents to be involved and restricts teens from driving from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m.

They also aren't allowed to have passengers in the car for a year, unless it's immediate family.

Hollister has also written a few books about losing his son and advice for parents on talking to their kids about teen driving.

His books are called "Not So Fast" and "His Father Still."