Oregon parents harder on teen drivers

SEATTLE, March 27 (UPI) -- Fifty-eight percent of parents in Oregon said they go beyond the rules imposed by the state's graduated licensing laws, a survey indicated.

A survey by Pemco Insurance indicated 52 percent said the state should enforce stricter consequences for those who violate teen-driving laws.


In Oregon, graduated licensing laws restrict 16- and 17-year-old drivers from all cellphones and communication devices while driving, including talking and texting with the help of hands-free accessories. The laws also set a driving curfew, limited the number of passengers teens may transport and required a minimum of 50 hours of supervised driving time.

Eighty-six percent of Oregon parents said they enforce the state's graduated licensing laws, half of parents said they enforce limits on the distances their teens can drive and two-thirds put limitations on driving in bad weather.

"We're encouraged to hear that Oregon parents take teen-driving safety seriously," Jon Osterberg, spokesman for Pemco said in a statement. "Countless studies show teens are more at risk for distracted driving, which is a leading cause of accidents among all drivers, and especially teens."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calculated 5,474 people in the United States died in crashes that involved distracted driving in 2009 and of the teen drivers involved in fatal collisions, 16 percent were reportedly distracted while behind the wheel.


The survey conducted by FBK Research involved 402 respondents in the Portland, Ore., metro area and has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

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