Minnesota’s U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar introduced legislation with Sen. Byron Dorgan to improve safety for teen drivers across the country.

The Students Taking Action for Road Safety Act of 2010 (STARS Act) would support peer-to-peer education and prevention strategies in schools and communities to increase awareness among teens about the dangers facing new drivers, including drunk and distracted driving, speeding, and failure to use seatbelts. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for more than one in three deaths in this age group.

“The road is one of the most deadly places for our teens,” Sen. Klobuchar said. “But irresponsible driving is not just dangerous for the teenagers behind the wheel — it is dangerous for everyone who’s on the road. The STARS Act will help bring together law enforcement, educators, and local communities to give our teen drivers the tools they need to become responsible drivers and make our roads safer.”

Added Dorgen, D-N.D., “It is clear that improving teen driver safety will save lives. This legislation proposes an innovative and, what we believe will be very effective way to do that. The nation’s youngest drivers have the highest rate of serious and tragic car accidents of all drivers on the road, so focusing on improving their attention to safety makes a lot of sense.”

The STARS Act provides a grant program that will enable states to launch initiatives to increase teen driver safety. States will also be able to share best practices and programs through the creation of a national teen driving safety clearinghouse and technical assistance center. Additionally, the bill establishes a National Teen Driver Advisory Council to study and report on education and prevention strategies designed to reduce injuries and fatalities among teen drivers.