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Getting Tough on Teen Drivers

Every state in the nation has different laws about young drivers. They spell out the age one can get behind the wheel, when one can't, and who needs to be with them. A recent analysis of state laws, by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety puts New Hampshire at about the middle of the pack, when it comes to how tough our teen driving requirements are. But the institute wants more. Recent studies show that tighter restrictions on young drivers would save thousands of lives nationwide. So it’s pushing for changes, such as increasing the learner’s permit age to sixteen, instead of fifteen and a half and requiring  more training hours of behind-the-wheel. But these strong suggestions may not go over well in New Hampshire. In a rural state with little public transportation, driving for teens means freedom, mobility, and independence.  Today we look at the case some are making about enacting tougher standards on teen drivers

Guests:

Howard Hedegard, Highway Safety Specialist at Dartmouth's Injury Prevention Center and co-chair of the teen driver committee; he's also lead instructor and trainer for the NH Traffic Safety Institute, where he teaches teens and others a course on driving behavior.

Peter Thomson, Coordinator for the New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency.

We'll also hear from:

Rod Hull, driver education instructor at Woodsville High School, New Hampshire manager of A-Star Driver Education, based in Plymouth, and adjunct faculty at Keene State in the NH Driver Education Teacher Certification Program.

John Pacheco, Driving Instructor at Chico's Driving Center in Pinardville.

Laura is well known in New Hampshire for her in-depth coverage of important issues and is widely regarded for her interviews with presidential hopefuls. Laura is a graduate of Keene High School in New Hampshire. Prior to hosting The Exchange, Laura worked in public radio in Washington, D.C. as a local reporter and announcer for WAMU and as a newscaster for NPR. Before her radio career, she was a researcher for USA Today's "Money" section, and a research assistant at the Institute for International Economics. Laura occasionally guest hosts national programs such as The Diane Rehm Show and Here and Now. In 2007 Laura was named New Hampshire Broadcaster of the Year by the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters.
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