July 18, 2019

Young drivers task force to hold Bangor hearing

The Task Force on Young Drivers, formed in response to public and legislative concerns about the disproportionately high fatality and injury rates among drivers ages 16 to 24, will hold a public hearing Tuesday in Bangor.

“Motor vehicle fatalities are the leading cause of death among young drivers in Maine,” said Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky, who created the task force earlier this week. “The 16- to 24-year-old age group accounts for only 12.5 percent of all operator licenses but suffers 24.6 percent of total motor vehicle fatalities and 29 percent of all OUI arrests.

“The statistics clearly show there is a serious problem with respect to fatalities and accidents among young people that can only be addressed by more aggressive measures,” said Gwadosky.

During the public hearing scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in Peakes Auditorium at Bangor High School, the task force wants to hear ideas about how to address the problem from area residents, especially young people.

The task force will consider options that already have been presented, including operating curfews, passenger limitations, increased driving experience to qualify for a license, improvements to the driver education program and parental involvement.

A second public hearing will be held the next Tuesday in Portland.

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