AB 63 (Frazier) would extend the provisional driver’s license program to any new driver under the age of 21. This program, which currently applies to new drivers between 16 and 18 years of age, prohibits driving between 11 pm and 5 am and transporting anyone under 20 for the first 12 months of holding the license, unless accompanied by a licensed driver older than 20 or required for school or employment.
AAP Positional Letter
March 13, 2017
The Honorable Jim Frazier
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249
Fax: (916) 319-2111
RE: AB 63 (Frazier): Provisional Driver’s Licenses AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Assemblymember Frazier:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, strongly supports your proposed legislation AB 63 (Frazier). AB 63 would expand California’s provisional driver’s license (PDL) requirement period to novice drivers under 21 years old. This would prohibit teens from driving between 11pm and 5am and transporting passengers who are under 20 years old, unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is over the age of 25, during the first 12 months of driving. Exceptions would be granted for school or employment needs.
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for 16 to 19 year olds. Each year, nearly 450,000 teenagers are injured in car accidents, and of those killed, about 63% are drivers. As novice drivers, teens lack the driving experience required to identify and respond to hazards on the road. They are also more likely than adults to take chances, succumb to peer pressures, drive emotionally, and overestimate their abilities. Though teens drive under the influence less often than adults, their crash risks are higher than adults when they do.
Under current legislation, when teenagers turn 18, they are able to pass a simple road test to obtain a full driver’s license, no matter how much (or how little) time they have held a learner’s permit. In fact, close to a third of 18 year olds have a permit for less than a month before taking their driver’s test. It is unsurprising that crash rates are highest during drivers’ first months of licensure. However, a short time period of supervised driving can result in rapid improvement in a teen’s driving ability, which is why AAP policy strongly supports legislation such as AB 63 that ensures that teens have the time they need to learn safe driving practices.
Pediatricians across the state support AB 63 (Frazier). We thank you for your leadership on behalf of the health and well-being of children, youth, and families in California.
Jacques Corriveau, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Chair, State Government Affairs Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
CC: Kris Calvin, CEO; AAP-CA Leadership; Lydia Bourne