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Pennsylvania teens, parents unfamiliar with GDL laws

Posted On Wed, January 9, 2013

A new report suggests that a considerable number of Pennsylvania teenagers and their parents may be somewhat uninformed about the state's laws as they relate to driving safety and licensing.

Funded by Allstate Insurance, the survey indicates that only one-third of parents say they know that their kids are abiding by graduate drivers licensing laws. And among teens themselves, just 15 percent say they comply with GDL laws that are in place.

The report also found that teens are rarely forthcoming when it comes to breaking these laws. The poll revealed that nearly half of Pennsylvania teenagers admitted to breaking at least one GDL law. However, less than one in every five said that they told their parents about these violations.

Chris Conner, spokesperson for Allstate, said that it's incumbent upon parents to explain to their kids why following all GDL laws is necessary.

"We know that Pennsylvania parents and teens don't want to put themselves, their passengers or other motorists at risk," said Conner. "But we also know that teens are our youngest, most inexperienced drivers."

He added that Allstate is hopeful the survey results will serve as a "call to action" for parents and their teens to learn the state's GDL laws.

For more than a year, Pennsylvania has had more strict GDL laws in place. In order to obtain a driver's license, teens need to have a minimum of 65 hours of supervised driving and there's a mandatory six-month waiting period in which teens can apply for a driver's license after they turn 16.

Following the rules of the road - which is often achieved by taking safety-related courses - can yield savings for teens and their parents. Insurers may provide discounts on insurance rates for motorists who maintain a clean traffic accident record. 

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