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LICENSE PROPOSAL: More restrictions are being proposed to help keep teen drivers safe on Iowa roads

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The families of Iowa teens killed or injured in traffic accidents are pushing for changes to the state’s driver’s license laws.

A bill in a Senate subcommittee would change the rules for new teen drivers. It would require supervision for those drivers for 12 months, instead of the current six. The legislation would also only allow new drivers to have one friend in the car.

Twenty-year-old Lizzie Cassler is among those pushing for the changes. In 2008, she was riding home with three other teens when the 15-year-old driver, who had a permit, lost control on an icy road.
Cassler suffered a severe brain injury and was in a coma for months.

“I really don’t want anyone to go through what I went through. I had a soccer scholarship to UNI, but now that’s gone. It’s like everything in my life was taken away from me,” says Cassler.

Experts say the changes to the law will allow young drivers to learn how to handle stressful and hazardous driving conditions, while having the benefit of supervision.

Statistics show motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 20. Forty-eight-percent of all teen deaths in Iowa are from crashes.